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There has been a decline of 13.5 per cent in suicides in Pune during the lockdown period (March-July 2020) as compared to the same period last year, a study conducted by SNDT Arts and Commerce College for Women shows.

During the lockdown period, 264 suicides were reported in the city as compared to 305 last year.

The study shows 61 per cent between the ages of 20 and 40 committed suicide in 2020, as compared to 59 per cent last year.

In 2019, 53 per cent of the victims were from middle-class background, however, the numbers were down by 2 per cent in 2020.

Domestic disputes and depression were the reason for suicides in 45 per cent of the cases in 2019, while 30 per cent in 2020 reportedly committed suicide due to these reasons.

Vice-principal and researcher Madhavi Kulkarni told Hindustan Times, “The study was undertaken to identify the reasons behind the decline in the number of suicide cases in the city during COVID-19 lockdown. However, no association of this decline can be established with age, gender, source of income and economic status of the victims.”

“The main factors or causes of suicide attempts and means used also have no significant association with the decline. By the logic of elimination, it can be inferred that the decline has a direct association with the lockdown and COVID-19 phenomenon,” she added.

DCP (crime branch) Bachchan Singh who coordinated with the SNDT team for research said that one of the main reasons for the decline in the number of suicides was the support of family during the lockdown period. "Prima facie, proximity to family members gives people morale support and helps to fight suicidal tendencies,” Singh added.

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