Bonded Labour Reasons of Social Problems: But the very same complexity brings with itself complex nature of social problems and issues.
Wed, Sep 19 There will doubtless be fierce debates about its policy direction as implementation data comes in. The five research papers released by the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative last week and published in The Lancet family of journals deserve attention in this context.
One of them is particularly welcome, focusing on an issue that has received short shrift so far: The paper, which is an exhaustive analysis of the variations in suicide death rates SDRs across states and causes of ideation of suicide in the period, bears this out.
Worryingly, the situation has worsened over the decades: A more granular look reveals a complicated picture. Typically, suicide makes up a higher percentage of deaths in the more developed states of the south and western and central states have mid-level SDRs.
The northwest and less developed north have low SDRs, while the east and north east have mixed rates. This is counterintuitive in many ways. The paper attributes the variations to the different levels of urbanization, proportion of literate population, and difference in literacy attainment.
How exactly these map to SDRs deserves further study at the state level.
Breaking down SDRs by gender is less complicated. There are a few takeaways from this. Firstly, here as in so many other spheres, women are struggling with disproportionate socio-economic burdens. As the paper points out, their high SDRs relative to men are rooted in factors as varied as the difference in socially acceptable methods of dealing with stress and conflict for women and men, domestic violence and the different ways in which poverty affects the genders.
A particularly important detail is that married women form the biggest victim group of suicide deaths among women in general. This group becomes more vulnerable due to arranged and early marriage, young motherhood and economic dependence—each following from the previous—among other factors.
Second, the rise in SDRs and, more broadly, mental health disorders, should not be surprising. The past few decades have witnessed economic, labour and social changes on a scale rarely seen before. Such rapid change—with the economic dislocation and change in social and community links it brings—can be destabilizing.
There is a cost to the loss of social links for the men who migrate, as well as for their families that stay behind. Third, the social stigma attached to mental health disorders in India is a major hurdle in addressing them. After all, until last year, suicide was a criminal offence in India, which was a major cause of under-reporting of suicide deaths in the National Crime Records Bureau of India.
The stigma and general lack of knowledge and understanding when it comes to mental health disorders prevent timely intervention. For instance, suicide is often preceded by a history of depression, stress, or anxiety.
Fourth, state capabilities for addressing mental health issues are close to non-existent. As Kovind had pointed out last year, the country has about 5, psychiatrists and less than 2, clinical psychologists.
This is minuscule, given population size. There have been some positive developments over the past few years. The decriminalization of suicide last year was long overdue and welcome.
But it remains to be seen how well this will be implemented, given that a standard health insurance policy covers in-patient hospitalization, while mental illnesses more often require out-patient care like counselling and psychotherapy. The National Mental Health Policy shows how wide the gap between good intentions and effectiveness can be, after all.
This is to the good. What can be done to raise social awareness about mental illnesses?
Tell us at views livemint.One of the biggest failures has been the very inadequate use of the public resources generated by economic growth to expand India's lagging physical and social infrastructure (in sharp contrast, for example, to what China has done): there is a continued inadequacy both of social services such as schooling, medical care and immunization, and of .
Insights on Important Social Issues. Regionalism – Its Dimensions, Meaning and Issues; Urbanization in India – Facts and Issues (Comprehensive Article) Recent Essay Challenges. Insights Weekly Essay Challenges – Week A good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge Social Problems in India 2 Edition.
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