A forgotten suicide in Delhi

A forgotten suicide in Delhi
New Delhi A family was driven to suicide because they had no money. And that didn't happen in a forgotten part of the country but in Capital Delhi. But even though it might have fallen off the headlines, these are serious issues that were never addressed.

In a Delhi household, five young girls, who along with their parents, were part of a suicide attempt a month ago.

Their father, Satish Jain, had not worked for nearly 11 years and suffered from depression. Their mother, Sarita, who did small sewing jobs was the only earning member.

"He had to repay debts and we had received threats that they would take away our daughters. There was tension," Sarita said.

The psyche of each member of the family was scarred by chronic silent depression. It caused the family's poverty and was the real trigger of the suicide bid. It had never been diagnosed or understood.

Though they were treated for drug overdose at a government hospital, their mental health did not receive attention as the hospital does not have a psychiatrist.

There are nearly 10 crore people suffering from depression in the country, but there are only 3,500 psychiatrists.

The hospital also lacks a social welfare officer that could monitor the children. The children are most vulnerable, and their future is uncertain.

"We need a place to stay, we need our own house," said Priya Jain, their daughter.

The Jain family case, viewed from different angles, raises disturbing questions about a city that failed to recognise and respond to the family's sense of helplessness and hopelessness about their future.
Story First Published: May 05, 2009 22:04 IST

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