India Records 43,000 Farmers, Daily Wagers Suicide

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Around 43,000 people working and associated with the farming sector and daily wage earners died by suicide in 2019, according to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data.

As many as 32,563 daily wage earners took their lives and formed 23.4% of the total suicide cases in the country, up from 30,132 in 2018, the NCRB data, which functions under the Union Home Ministry, stated in a PTI report.

As many as 10,281 people engaged in the farming sector (consisting of 5,957 farmers or cultivators and 4,324 agricultural labourers) killed themselves in 2019, accounting for 7.4% of total suicide victims (1,39,123) in the country, it stated. The suicide figures for people engaged in the farming sector stood at 10,349 (7.7%) of the total in 2018, previous data showed.

Out of 5,957 farmer or cultivator suicides in 2019, a total of 5,563 were male and 394 female. Out of the 4,324 suicides committed by agricultural labourers during 2019, 3,749 were male and 575 were female.

The majority of victims were reported in Maharashtra (38.2%), Karnataka (19.4%), Andhra Pradesh (10%), Madhya Pradesh (5.3%), and Chhattisgarh and Telangana (4.9% each), the data showed.

However, the NCRB stated that West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi UT, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported “zero suicides” of farmers or cultivators as well as agricultural labourers.

Altogether, India reported 1,39,123 suicides during 2019, up from 1,34,516 in 2018 and 1,29,887 in 2017, the data showed. In profession-wise categorization of suicides in 2019, daily wage earners (23.4%) were the biggest chunk of such fatalities, followed by housewives (15.4%).

They were followed by self-employed (11.6%), unemployed (10.1%), professionals or salaried people (9.1%), students and persons engaged in farming sector (both 7.4%), and retired persons (0.9%), the data showed.

The NCRB stated that 14.7% suicide victims fell in “other persons” category.

An educational background of the suicide victims revealed that of the total suicide victims, 12.6% (17,588) were illiterate, while only 3.7% (5,185) were graduates and above, the data showed.

The maximum 23.3% (32,427) people who killed themselves in 2019 were educated up to matriculation or secondary level, whereas middle-level educated persons accounted for 19.6% (27,323) such fatalities, it showed.

Primary-educated people formed 16.3% (22,649) suicide cases, followed by higher secondary or intermediate or pre-university educated 14%

The NCRB also noted that 66.7% (92,757 out of 1,39,123) of the suicide victims were married, while 23.6% were unmarried (32,852). Widowed/widower, divorcees and separated accounted for 1.8% (2,472), 0.71% (997) and 0.69% (963), respectively, it stated.

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