India. Ludhiana, Punjab. Since March, the Ludhiana district has registered 11 per cent increase in suicide cases post the Covid-19 lockdown.
The Ludhiana police verified through their investigation that the cause of these cases is a combination of financial crisis, depression, reduced access to primary health care facilities and domestic violence.
Since the Covid-19 lockdown, there were 76 confirmed suicide cases registered in April to June which comprised of 22 females and 54 males. Most of the victims’ cause for such an extreme decision was domestic violence.
Since the start of 2020, there were a total of 137 suicide cases registered in Ludhiana of which 61 cases were reported from January – March. Of these 61 cases, 15 women were registered under suicide.
Domestic violence, job loss and debts
The victims suffering from depression and anxiety ranged from the age group of 9 to 80 years old. As a part of the investigation, it was reported that out of the total suicide cases during the lockdown, 44 people took their lives due to depression. Most of these cases were a result of depression due to job losses during the pandemic.
On 16 May 2020, a nine-year-old young girl committed suicide at Dhandhran Enclave. As per the parents, the victim was depressed and disturbed after a heated argument over playing mobile games with her brother.
As per the police investigation, the secondary reason for these suicide cases was increased domestic violence during the pandemic. Out of the total number of 76 cases, 16 females were suffering from domestic violence leading to such extreme measure. The female victims were between the age group of 19-40 years old. Before March 31st, there were seven suicide cases due to domestic violence.
Furthermore, there were 5 cases registered out of which the cause was financial problems, the age group was between 32-40 years.From the five cases, one of the victims was an employee in a private school.
On May 14, he ended his life while talking to his wife over a video call. He was working as a computer operator in the school and was a resident from Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar. Post the police investigation, they found he owed a debt of Rs 2 lakhs due to which he capitulated to depression.
Before the lockdown, seven suicide cases were registered. The cause was poor financial conditions. The victims were in the age group of 20-36 years old.
On the 1st of April, police had registered a case of a debt-ridden male, killing himself, aged 40 years old. The police state that no such cases were reported before the lockdown period.
Four people committed suicide due to failing health from the age group of 42-45 years old while 5 more cases were registered from the age group of 17-25 years old, cause being academic stress.
Before the lockdown, poor health had driven eight people to suicide.
Akhil Chaudhary, Deputy Commissioner of Police, headquarters, mentions that such suicidal tendencies were due to the paradox between reality and expectation when it comes to professional and personal life.
He further states that the police had investigated the cause of all the cases registered in the city under suicide to understand the reason behind such extreme measures taken by the victims.
Dr Nidhi Aggarwal,assistant professor from Christian Medical College and Hospital,states that people who lost their daily income source were majorly affected by the pandemic-induced lockdown.
The lockdown has impacted people from all age groups in various aspects such as financial, psychological, physical or emotional.
As per police records, a total of 137 people including 37 women have ended their lives between the period between January 1 – June 15.
There are helpline numbers, if your know someone who might need help or you are the person who needs help, please connect on these numbers or the nearest mental health or wellness expert.
Aasra: 022 2754 6669;
Sneha India Foundation: +914424640050