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Tharis put heads together to find causes of growing suicide trend

Tharis put heads together to find causes of growing suicide trend

UMERKOT: A gathering of members of civil society, representatives of district adminis­tration, bar councils and non-governmental organi­sations concluded on Wednesday that abject poverty, use of drugs, illiteracy, unem­ployment, early marriages, sale of girls into marriage, domestic violence, depression and intolerance were some of the main causes behind increasing trend of suicide in Thar.

The gathering organised by Umerkot SSP retired Captain Ameer Saud Magsi was informed by the SSP and Rain Network, a conglomerate of 29 NGOs working in the district, that as per media reports 53 persons had committed suicide during 2018 so far while 10 were saved.

Samaro taluka stood at the top of the list with 53 per cent cases of suicide, followed by Umerkot with 26pc cases, Kunri 20pc cases, and Pithoro 2pc cases. The most alarming thing was that 90pc of suicide victims were members of minority communities.

All participants in the gathering vowed to play their role to educate people and press the government to minimise the growing suicide trend.

SSP Magsi said that he would convene similar gatherings at police stations and police posts to understand the root causes of suicide and educate people. Only poverty was not responsible for suicide, there were other factors too because poverty existed in other parts of the world as well, he said.

He said that discouraging behaviours, injudicious distribution of resources, poor justice system, unawareness and lack of ownership and unattended psychological issues were also to blame for the depressing trend.

Sardar Bhayo, a representative of Rain Network, blamed depression, harassment, poverty and other factors for the trend and held the state responsible for it.

Umerkot District Bar Association chairman Poonjo Bheel pointed out that various factors were responsible for the increasing suicide cases. Growing hate and intolerance in society and seemingly inexorable poverty were major reasons behind suicides, he said.

Kashif Bajeer, provincial manager of Society for the Protection of Rights of the Child, said that due to class system, the rich were becoming richer and the poor poorer but there was no proper planning on the issue on the part of the government.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Tahir Memon said that suicide was strictly prohibited in Islam and in other religions as well. Taunts of in-laws, parents and society also contributed to the stress of a helpless person and pushed him to suicide, he said.

He said that growing use of cell phone and social networking sites had also sowed strife among family members and increased harass­ment cases and unwanted love affairs, which also led to suicide. “State is equally responsible for the suicide trend,” he added.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2018

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