70% suicides in state last year were by men
Tilt in figures revealed by police is due to skewed sex ratio at birth and farmer suicides in state, say experts
Men in the state are more susceptible to committing suicide than women, statistics released by the state police reveal. As per the data made available by the director general of police’s office, the number of women who ended their lives was a little more than a third of the number of men who killed themselves in Maharashtra.
In 2012, 16,112 people killed themselves of whom 11,304 were men. The suicides were up by 165 in 2011, when of 15,947 suicides in the state, 10,887 were committed by men.
Incidentally, Mumbai tops the list of cities where people killed themselves, with 762 men and 534 women committing suicide in 2012. In neighbouring Pune, 496 men and 216 women ended their lives, in Nashik 171 males and 90 females, and in Thane 383 males and 183 females.
Why more suicidal men
One of the major factors for the figures tilting unfavourably towards men is the skewed sex ratio - the number of girls born per 1,000 boys - at birth in the state. As per the civic figures the sex ratio for 2012 was 922:1,000, up from 917 girls in 2011.
Expanding on the reasons for the trend, psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty said, “Apart from the sex ratio, there are several other factors behind this difference. In many case, it has been observed that men are more successful in committing suicides as compared to females. Sometimes, family members manipulate suicide cases of female members into accidental deaths for the sake of reputation.”
The increasing suicides by farmers in the state has also contributed to the mass difference in the rate. As per data obtained from the National Crime Record Bureau for Maharashtra, at least 3,786 farm suicides took place in 2012.
Method in madness
Dr Y A Matcheswala went to the extent of saying that women usually attempted suicide in order to threaten, but men mostly used methods in which survival chances were less.
"Women used soft ways like eating tablets while men mostly used methods like jumping before a train, where survival chances were less. Also the financial burden is more on men than women, which led to more suicides by them," said Matcheswala.
For 2012, Mumbai is at 45th place in the nation in the number (215) of murder cases, while Delhi (408) tops the list
Giving up on life
Total Suicide: 15,947
Total Suicides: 16,112
Suicides in 2012
Road Accidents In Maharashtra
Death toll (2012)
Thane Rural: 630
Pune Rural: 1,180