Twinkle Khanna’s write up Drifting Kites spoke of a vitally important social issue-suicides in India. We look at some reasons and statistics about suicide

India Suicide Web  01 Twinkle Khanna’s Drifting Kites Speaks of a Vital Social Issue

  1. Former actor and wife of superstar Akshay Kumar’s wife Twinkle Khanna recently published an Op Ed piece called Drifting Kites. This piece went viral and sparked a lot of debate, comment and discussion on social media about a vitally important social issue – that of suicides in India among youth and also touched on other issues such as the importance of communication between parents and children.
  2. The write up speaks about the fact that for a parent there is nothing worse than losing a child and that losing a child to suicide can result only in grief but guilt and self doubt. It details the various reasons why young people commit suicide in India – because of harassment, academic pressure, sexual orientation or at times simply because of being born female. Important issues are raised by the article – we Indians set a lot of store by respect, obedience and tradition but don’t do so well when it comes to communication and unconditional love for children.
  3. Twinkle Khanna’s effort has triggered a welcome debate in social media space with people expressing appreciation for the ideas expressed. The article clearly touches a chord when it says that we need to learn to accept ourselves and our kids without rejecting failure; without stigmatizing it and makes people think about things that Indians refuse to acknowledge and brush under the carpet.
  4. 17% of the suicides worldwide occur in India. That is about 135,000 suicides each year in our country and the rate of suicides has seen a distressing increase in the past couple of decades. 46,000 suicides that occurred in 2012 belonged to the 15-29 age groups making this age group among the most vulnerable to suicide. have expressed grave concern that so many young people feel compelled to take their own lives; that so many from the 15-29 age group commit suicide because of stress and competition.
  5. Family problems and illness are the two main causes that lead to suicide in India (46% of suicides occur because of this). Drug abuse, relationship problems, poverty or economic difficulties and dowry are other leading causes. In a shocking revelation by the WHO, India is the suicide capital of the world; has the highest number of suicides in the year 2012.
  6. Another cause for concern is the fact that suicide rates are also alarmingly high among people from the LGBT community; particularly HIV positive men. The stress of being unable to declare their sexual orientation or the trauma of being rejected by family and shunned by society for this reason is often the reason why men and women of the LGBT community resort to this extreme measure.
  7. lgbt suicide Twinkle Khanna’s Drifting Kites Speaks of a Vital Social IssueThe costs of homophobia and exclusion of LGBT individuals is very high in our country – not only are there incidences of violence, discrimination, family rejection, harassment in school and pressure to marry; depression and suicidal thoughts are much higher among these groups when compared with national averages. (Preliminary results of a World Bank study)
  8. Experts stress the importance of sex education, social and familial support and of speaking out to counter social problem of suicide among the youth. Families can start at home right now by being less judgmental, more loving and accepting of failure and keeping  an open mind to children as well as others in society.

Image 1 source – rediff, image 2 source –

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