Over 25k Indians Died by Suicide Due to Unemployment or Bankruptcy in 2018–20

Nityanand Rai said that 9,140 people died by suicide due to unemployment and 16,091 people due to bankruptcy.

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(If you feel suicidal or know someone in distress, please reach out to them with kindness and call these numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs.)

Over 25,000 Indians died by suicide due to either unemployment or bankruptcy between 2018 and 2020, the Union government informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 9 February.

In a written reply to a question on the issue in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State (Home) Nityanand Rai informed that 9,140 people died by suicide due to unemployment and 16,091 people due to bankruptcy during the said period.

Rai said that the government figures were based on the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data.

According to NCRB data, 2,741 people died by suicide in 2018 due to unemployment, 2,851 people in 2019 and 3,548 in 2020, which also saw the pandemic's beginning.

However, deaths by suicide due to bankruptcy or indebtedness showed a different trend altogether.

While 4,970 people died by suicide due to the reason in 2018, the year 2019 saw a sharp increase in such deaths, jumping to 5,908.

However, in 2020, 5,213 people died by suicide due to bankruptcy or indebtedness, showing a decline of over 600 from 2019.

'Govt Focusing on Mental Health, Craeating Employment Opportunities': Nityanand Rai

Several opposition MPs have raised the issue of unemployment multiple times during the ongoing Budget session. The MPs have claimed that Union Budget 2022 did not provide much to deal with the issue in the country in the wake of COVID-19.

However, Rai said the government was focussing on mental health and creating employment opportunities to address the issue.

"To address the burden of mental disorders, the government is implementing the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) and is supporting the implementation of the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) under NMHP in 692 districts of the country," Rai said.

"The programme aims to provide suicide prevention services, workplace stress management, life skills training and counselling in schools and colleges; mental health services including prevention, promotion and long-term continuing care at different levels of district healthcare delivery system and promote community awareness and participation in the delivery of mental healthcare services," he added.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had recently attacked the BJP government, saying that unemployment was the highest in the past 50 years.

He said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had managed to pull 27 crore people out of poverty in 10 years, but the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pushed 23 crore people back into poverty.


Rai on Wednesday said the government had launched several programmes for the citizens for employment and income generation, namely the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY), The National Career Service (NCS) project for job seekers and employers for job-matching, Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, Deendayal Antodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission, and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana with substantial outlays.

"Flagship programmes of the government such as Make in India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart City Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, Housing for All, Infrastructure development and Industrial corridors which have the potential to generate productive employment opportunities," he said.

Rai said that the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme in the key sectors for enhancing India's manufacturing capabilities and exports would also generate employment opportunities.

'Budget Betrayed People's Hopes': Shashi Tharoor

On Monday, 7 February, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had said in the Lok Sabha that the budget had betrayed people's hopes.

"The expectation was that the government would acknowledge the unprecedented levels of unemployment which has left countless citizens, especially the young, with little prospect for a brighter tomorrow. Admit that one-fifth of India's population has plunged a staggering 53 percent in the last five years in their income," Tharoor had said.

Tharoor also said that India's unemployment rate had grown faster than Bangladesh and Vietnam.

"The unemployment rate is pegged at 6.75 per cent as of January. This is a welcome improvement from 7.9 per cent in the previous month. It is still higher than the worst unemployment rate in the country in the past 45 years. India's unemployment rate has grown faster than Bangladesh and Vietnam. In the last two years, 84 per cent of households have suffered a loss of income even as per capita income has fallen," Tharoor had said.

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