High Suicide Rotes Plague ilruclien Armed Forces
The Indian Army seems to be dealing with a faceless enemy i.e. suicide by the soldiers. The latest figure disclosed by the Indian Defence Ministry says’ that around 780 soldiers have committed suicide since 2005.31 this year, 62 Indian soldiers have taken their lives.
The Indian Army seems to be dealing with a faceless enemy i.e. suicide by the soldiers. The latest figure disclosed by the Indian Defence Ministry says’ that around 780 soldiers have committed suicide since 2005. Statistics says, in recent years suicides in the 1.2 mn strong Indian Army have come down marginally in recent years. In 2006, the numbers of suicides were as<high as 129, but in 2011 they dipped to 102. Until July 31 this year, 62 Indian soldiers have taken their lives. Every such incident is a cause for concern. Its not just the 1.2 million strong Army, which is dealing with this faceless enemy, the paramilitary forces, especially the CRPF, too is losing their men to fratricide and suicide.
It is cold comfort that in India, suicide rates in the armed forces are less than those of the general population.
However alarming this statistics may ‘appear, the suicide rate in the Indian Army is well below that in countries such as France, the United States and Britain. In 2009 the suicide rate in the Indian Army was 6.7 per lakh, while the corresponCiing figures for the same year in France, US and Britain were 19, 17 and 14 per lakh, respectively.
In order to tackle the incidents of suicide in the defence, the Ministry of Defence appointed psychological counselors at the unit level, introduced yoga sessions and also issued guidelines to liberalise leave-granting practices. But the recent figures disclosed by the Ministry of Defence suggests the that were put in place by the armed forces after a study done by the Defence Institute of Psychological Research to • identify stress-points ar6 not efficacious enough.
Some senior officers have contended that than the physical and mental strain that extended deployment in counterinsurgency roles exerts, domestic, family and financial problems account for much of the distress.
–Besides the above measures, administra tion must be made responsive to the grievances and complaints of serving soldiers and their families. The armed forces have to introspect on how far the issue of the quality of its leadership at multiple levels may be involved here. At the end of the day, it all boils down to the question of the general morale of a force. Suicide is a tough enemy, but one that can be beaten with the right measures. At the force level, individuals need to be aided to improve their resilience and helped to cope with what life throws at them.
Registrar-General of India C. Chandramouli released the first Annual Health Survey of eight EAG States-Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Rajasthan. A few districts in the eight empowered action group (EAG) States have excelled by achieving the targets set by the United Nations under the millennium development goals (MDGs).
The Survey reveals:
m Of the 248 districts of the EAG States and Assam, six- Purbi Singhbhum and Dhanbad (Tharkhand); Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Pithoragarh_’and Almora (Uttarakhand) – have reduced the infant mortality rate (IM.R) to 28. The MDC.; target is to bring down the IMR – the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births – to 28 by 2015.
- Bokaro and Ranchi (Jharkhand), Bageshwar and Nainitai (Uttarakhand) are also close to achieving the goals. Sadly enough, female infants in these districts experience a higher mortality than male infants and mortality in rural areas is worse than those in urban centres.
- Besides this, eight districts- Pithoragarh, Almora, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Nairtital, Bageshwar and Purbi Singhbhum – have achieved the under-5 mortality rate of 42.
- Shrawasti in Uttar Pradesh has the highest crude birth rate (CBR) – number of live births, per 1,000 population – among the EAG States and Assam — at 40.9 while Bageshwar in adjoining Uttarakhand has ihe least at 14.7.
m Similarly, Shrawasti has the highest crude death rate – the number of deaths per 1,000 population – at 12.6 and Dhemaji in Assam the least at 4.5.
m Bolangir in Odisha has the highest number of neo-natal mortality rate at 75 as against the lowest in Rudraprayag at 11.
- Talking of Under-5 Mortality Rate (children dying before five years), Pi thoragarh has the least with just 24 children dying while Kandhamal in Odisha has the worse figure touching145 for every 1,000 live births.
- Pi thoragarh has the lowest sex ratio birth with. just 764 girls being born
for every 1,000 boys in contrast to Nloradabad where 1030 girls are born for every 1000 boys.
- The Kumaon division in Uttarakhand has 183 women dying for every 100,000 live births while Faizabad Division has 451.
The survey also reveals that the smaller States carved out of the bigger ones in the rt.-cent past have performed better. The annual health survey has been designed to yield benchmarks of core vital and health indicators at the district-level.
The report of the first annual health survey of eight EAG States and Assam, conducted between July 2010 and 2011, contains district-level data on crude birth rate, crude death rate, natural growth rate, infant mortality rate, neo-natal and post-natal mortality rake, under-5 mortality rate, sex ratio at birth, sex ratio (OA years) and overall sex ratio.
These indicators would provide requisite inputs for better planning of health programmes and will help in monitoring the performance and opt: come of various health interventions of the government, including those under the National Rural Health Mission.