Monday, November 29, 1999

No progress on panel to check suicides

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Following a spate of suicides by students in urban areas, especially the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the state government had announced a steering committee to be headed by eminent psychiatrist Dr Anand Nadkarni. Two months later, and after both Std XII and Std X state board exam results were announced, the state government is yet to take the first step towards the formation of the committee.Dr Nadkarni, who runs the Institute for Psychological Health in Thane, said that neither has he received any letter nor has a government resolution been issued about the formation of the committee. "There has been no official government communication to me about the committee. I know that an announcement has been made but I am yet to hear anything about it from the government," he said. Mantralaya sources said Nadkarni's name was decided after a seminar he conducted for principals about student suicides.Dr Nadkarni is an alumnus of the KEM Hospital and GS Seth College where he taught psychiatry. Minister of State for School Education Fauzia Khan had announced the formation of the committee in the Legislative Council.While presenting an analysis of suicides registered with the police, Home Minister R R Patil had said that rates were high in developed areas. In 2009, there were 9,201 suicides in the state: of these, 4.85 per cent were students, 52.54 per cent of them girls.Patil had said 46 per cent of suicides were for study reasons of which 16 per cent were due to failure in examinations. 8.96 per cent due to parental pressure, 11.88 per cent due to family problems. 8.30 per cent due to failed love affairs and 8.52 per cent due to persistent health problems.An MLC from the teachers' constituency, Kapil Patil, said he was upset about the lack of interest in the matter from the government. "I have written to the education department asking for an explanation. We will sadly have to raise the issue in the assembly again. It was just another promise by the government," said Patil.

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