Though, globally Pakistan was rated below worldwide average of suicide rate of 6.1 per 100000 persons in 2015. But lack of opportunities and attraction in life as well as attention prevailing in the society create conducive condition for this extreme act. According to a study Tharparkar district in Sindh topped the list of remaining districts with 79 suicides.
Matter of fact is that no deep study has been conducted to delve in detail about the reasons and remedies for this menace. Different NGOs regular report attempted and committed suicides mostly taking input from print media reported cases which constitute proverbial tip of ice berg due to stigma and fear of legal action against attempter or family members of those who committed suicides.
Suicidal tendencies arise in persons from almost all walk of lives. No in-depth studies and researches have been conducted to dig out the factors leading to suicide in particular area, community or age group etc.
The trend is not confined to the poverty. However, poverty might be and in fact is major reason in high suicidal incidence globally, in Pakistan and particularly in Sindh Province of Pakistan.
In Sindh we have seen rare cases of celebrities or supper rich also committing suicides. The reasons for this upper class suicidal tendency are different.
Celebrities or wealthy get lot of attention and fame in their prime career years but when suddenly some of them fall from public grace or lose their wealth abruptly or being deserted by even their near and dear ones due to diseases, old age, the desire to end their lives continuously prop up and dissipate in their mid, some overcome and others yield to the desire for death. There have also come to light some rare cases where wealth young persons ended their lives.
Decade back media reported the case where scion of supper rich family ended his life. Letter written by him revealed that he enjoyed all luxuries of life and having no unfulfilled desires left, he sees nothing interesting in life to live. Alama I.I Qazi, a celebrated scholar is reported to have thrown himself to the waves of Indus as life has become unbearable for him without her beloved wife who left this world earlier.
Akbar Jiskani, a shining star in the galaxy of Sindhi literature is reported to had said goodbye to his life by igniting his body mostly due to finding no attention and affection from his friends and colleagues
Another category people from each economic and social class are young passionate lovebirds. They fall in love with each other deifying powerful and strongly entrenched traditions of class, caste, religion and economic status factors. And if any of above factors come to their way, they either resist or they prefer to end tier lives.
Extreme poverty is major cure responsible for wooing some of its sensitive victims to desert their beautiful and most precious gift of life and embrace death when it becomes unbearable for them to see their children suffering perpetual hunger and deprivation from other basic needs of life while seeing others to wallowing in wealth and all luxuries of life associated with wealth.
In majority cases, the parents before brining death to themselves, kill their children and other family members. Majority of the poverty affected people despite trying all ways and means at their disposal to get sustainable livelihood or support from class based and exploiting economic system did not succeed, they have no option but to hate life and find escape from all woes into death.
Case of Thar
Case of Tharparkar is completely different. Despite extreme poverty and lack or absence of basic amenities of life. People of Thar lead content lives. Needs of Thari living in remote and obscure parts of the desert are limited. Rarely one would find beggars in remote parts or towns of Thar.
People of Thar being too much sensitive prefer death over their self-esteem being injured by not asking for help.
Around 2014, one case of suicide came to light where newly weeded young couple was found dead in their house. Reportedly, they have nothing to eat for three or four days. They found it below their dignity and self-esteem to ask for food from their relative and villagers and hanged themselves.
After extraction of coal and political intervention in the development in this backward but self-content area has deepen the sense of inequality, deprivation and participation. Modern economy eroded the semi pastoral and semi agriculture economy as well as its old social structure.
There is urgent need to look seriously into reasons and factors leading to rising trend and occurrence of suicides in Sindh in particular and rest of Pakistan in general.
The school curriculum, NGOs and political parties must inculcate simplicity and their leaders and staff must practice themselves the simple way of life.
Youth club, libraries and gyms should be established and sports opportunities should be provided, patronized and sponsored by government and individuals, trade unions and political parties
There should be commutation channels among different layers of society at grass root level
Shelters and entertainment pockets should be put in place and operated for elderly, disabled and socially excluded persons
Outdated traditions dividing the people on cast, creed, class and social status should be narrowed down by social inclusion practices. The personalities in leadership positions and opinion makers should not only espouse these noble values bit set example by practicing these themselves
The social security measures and initiatives should be purged from favouritism and corruption to reaching out to the neediest.
Pre-partition and till 1980s prevalent spirt of philanthropy needs to be revived to supplement government’s social security initiatives or reach out to those who could not be approached through social security schemes by government to cater for their need financial support.
Communication technologies like social media tools and FM radio should be widely utilized to communicate with those isolated lower class or aged persons.
Helplines and consultative centers should be established to provide immediate consultative aid to those who are harboring and thinking to commit suicide
The blogger is freelance journalist and can be reached at
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