Why has Tharparker become the ‘suicide capital’ of Sindh?

One of the primary reasons for the suicide was exchange marriages.

A shocking report has revealed that 115 persons committed suicide in the Tharparkar district during 2021, including 68 women. However, 99 among them were Hindus.

According to the report, one of the primary reasons for the suicide was exchange marriages, while other factors include forced marriages, social transformation, sexual exploitation, drug addiction, and depression.

After growing suicide incidents in the district, the Mirpurkhas Deputy Inspector General of Police, Zulfiqar Mahar, formed a committee on ‘suicide autopsy’ to uncover the main factors.

The seven-member committee report revealed that 57 people between 21 and 40 committed suicide. However, 46 persons were between 15 and 20 and 10 between 41 and 60, while seven others were above 60 years.

One of the committee members, Partab Shivani, said that there is honor killing in upper parts of Sindh, while the phenomenon still exists in Tharparkar.

He said that poverty and lack of resources are primary reasons for suicide in the region. “This is the highest number of suicide cases in Tharparkar, and during the survey, my team found that families were not sharing the actual facts,” said Shivani.

He added, “There is fear of police investigation. There was a lack of awareness amongst the general public regarding suicide,” he said.

The committee recommends the police to counsel such cases and register cases.
It also demanded that the government establish a mortuary and chemical analysis laboratory in the district. The committee observed that most of the chemical samples had been sent to Karachi for examination. It also asked the government to appoint psychiatrists at the taluka level.

The committee urged health authorities to form a psychosocial rehabilitation center in the region for people facing depression, distress, and disinterest in life. It recommends that Muslim clerics and Hindu pandits must also play their parts by discussing the positive and negative implications of close and distant marriages.

The committee, during the survey, visited all seven talukas of the district and interacted with different people, including families of the victims, social and political activists.

Shivani concluded, “I fear more such incidents in coming years if appropriate measures are not taken immediately.”

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