Mumbai is grappling with a concerning surge in suicides among minor girls, unveiling a new public health challenge. Recent statistics obtained through the RTI Act from Mumbai police reveal a notable shift in the suicide landscape.
Traditionally, the number of suicides among teenage boys surpassed that of girls; however, in the last four years, this pattern has reversed. Between 2019 and 2022, while 188 boys died by suicide, there was a 23% increase in the cases of underaged girls taking their lives, totalling 231, said a report in The Times Of India.
Mumbai Among Top 5 Indian Cities With High Suicide Rates
Mumbai ranked among the top five Indian cities with the highest suicide rates, witnessed a 22% overall increase in suicides from 1,229 deaths in 2019 to 1,499 in 2022. Throughout these four years, 1,260 women took their own lives, with men constituting a significantly higher number at 3,765. Notably, family-related issues and financial problems are cited as the main causes among adults.
Expert Insights: Potential Causes For The Surge
Experts suggest various factors contribute to the increased suicide rate among minor girls. Stress, gaslighting in relationships, reluctance to confide in families and stricter parental restrictions for girls are cited as potential triggers.
Societal pressures, particularly body-shaming, are also identified as influencing factors. Cyber psychologist Nirali Bhatia emphasizes that bullying and body-shaming, often amplified by social media, are more prevalent among young girls.
Calls For Urgent Attention
Dr. Samya Shinde, head of the sociology department at LS Raheja College, Santacruz, emphasizes the need for immediate attention to address the rising trend. Western influences, obsession with social media, and societal expectations contribute to the challenges faced by young girls. While the overall suicide rate is higher among men, there is an acknowledgement of the urgency to tackle the distinct rise in suicides among minor girls, reflecting a troubling societal issue.
Suicide Prevention Helpline no. | AASRA