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Depression claims five lives in three days in Mumbai

Doctors caution that measures need to be taken urgently to curb the growing number of suicides in the city

Adding to the already growing number of suicides in the city, as many as five people took their own lives in Mumbai between Saturday and Monday, this week. While the five deceased hail from different backgrounds and different parts of the city, prima facie, depression seems to be the main cause behind most of the incidents.

A psychiatrist says that any family members or friends who notice signs of depression, or any indication that someone is about to take such an extreme step, should take immediate action to help that person. Representational pic
A psychiatrist says that any family members or friends who notice signs of depression, or any indication that someone is about to take such an extreme step, should take immediate action to help that person. Representational pic

Peddar Road
At 3.30 am on Monday, a 44-year-old woman was found lying on the ground in a pool of blood, after she allegedly jumped from the sixth floor of a residential building on Peddar Road. Additional Commissioner of Police Krishna Prakash said, “The woman has been identified as Bina Gulabrai Vajrani.

She had been mentally unstable for the past seven to eight years, and resided alone at Carter Road, Bandra. She and her father had come to her uncle’s house here, where she jumped in the wee hours of Monday. The cause for committing suicide is not known. The body was sent to J J Hospital for post-mortem.”

Kurla
A 28-year-old vegetable vendor in Naupada, Kurla, committed suicide by hanging himself. He wrote a suicide note on his shirt, blaming four relatives for driving him to take the step. The deceased was identified as Avdesh Jaiswal, who was found hanging at a construction site in the area.

The incident was reported to the V B Nagar police station on Saturday, according to Senior Police Inspector Subhash Raut, who said, “His body was recovered in the morning on Saturday, after which we discovered that he had written the names of his aunt’s children, who had provoked him to commit suicide, on the shirt he was wearing.”

When the four were summoned to the police station, it was revealed that they had sidelined the deceased after they incurred losses in the business because of him, as he would often let people take vegetables from the shop free of charge.

Kherwadi
A 29-year-old youth hanged himself to death at his residence at Siddharth Nagar, Bandra (East), on Monday. The deceased, identified as Kunal Ramji Ambavankar, was living alone since his parents’ passing a few years ago.

He was a ward boy at a private hospital in Bandra, said the police. “We did not find any suicide note from the spot. His neighbours revealed he was under depression since the past few days,” said PSI Sheetal Patil from the Kherwadi police station.

Vikhroli
On Sunday night, a 25-year-old driver committed suicide at his Vikhroli residence, where he was found hanging. He has been identified as Narsappa Mariappa Maitri, but the police are yet to find a cause for the suicide.

Oshiwara
In another incident of suicide, a 35-year-old Lokhandwala resident is thought to have jumped from her 16th floor bedroom window in Andheri (West) on Sunday night. The victim, Ekta Babbar, was a casting agent who sourced new artistes for film and television producers and directors.

The residential building in Lokhandwala where Ekta Babbar jumped to her death on Sunday night. Babbar, like most of the five cases recorded over the past three days, is suspected to have been driven to suicide by depression
The residential building in Lokhandwala where Ekta Babbar jumped to her death on Sunday night. Babbar, like most of the five cases recorded over the past three days, is suspected to have been driven to suicide by depression

The watchman at Green Acres building heard a loud thud, and discovered the deceased lying on the ground. According to the senior police inspector at Oshiwara police station, Subhash Vele, the police were sure she hadn’t jumped from the terrace, as it was locked.

The officers noticed that there were three flats without window grills on the ninth, 13th and 16th floors in the building, and began visiting each of the flats. When they went to the 16th floor, they found the Babbar’s mother watching television. She had thought Babbar was asleep in her room, but when the police broke open the bedroom door, they found the room empty and the window open.

The police have registered a case of accidental death, and suspect depression may have driven her to suicide. “We haven’t found any suici-de note at the residence. The mother said that she (Ekta) had been depressed for the past five months, ever since her father had passed away,” said Vele.

Doctor speak
With suicide cases and attempts now rampant in the city, doctors warn that there is an urgent need to take steps to curb this pattern, and dissuade citizens from taking their own lives.

Dr Harish Shetty, a psychiatrist, said, “Suicide is now spreading like an epidemic. More people die of suicides than accidents. Just like officials take several measures to prevent the spread of diseases like malaria, tough measures should be taken to prevent suicides.

Any family members or friends who notice signs of depression, or any indication that someone is about to take such an extreme step, should take immediate action to help that person.”

Psychiatrist and therapist, Dr Parul Tank, said, “Recognising suicidal signs or red flags is very important not eating food, leaving goodbye notes, not speaking normally, etc., are all possible signs. Amongst men, the leading causes are unemployment or financial problems.

Amongst women, depression is a major cause of suicide. If people do not open up to family members, they should at least do so to professionals. One should always visit a psychiatrist for help in such cases.”

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