According to a study by the voluntary organisation Sneha, the state accounts for only 1.7 per cent of India’s suicides. Uttar Pradesh comes second at 4.8 per cent, and Kerala, India’s most literate state, rules the chart as before with 25.9 per cent.
Forty per cent of Bihar’s 83 million population lives below the poverty line, the highest national figure and the migration level is high. The study concludes that the general hardship and the average Bihari’s high endurance could have much to do with the low figure. According to the report, most of the 154,000 annual suicides in India are of those below the age of 40 – and most of them youngsters.
Southern states account for 47 per cent of the total suicides. Last year Tamil Nadu reported 11,000. Pondicherry, too, shows a rising trend with 57 people out of every 100,000 taking their own lives.
Among the factors cited are increasing alcoholism, mental illness, crime, domestic violence, migration, consumerism, indebtedness, competitiveness and unemployment. All these have pushed up the country’s suicide rate from 6.7 per 100,000 in 1975 to 10.4 this year.