In the last two years, more than 218,000 people across India committed suicide mainly due to poverty, family feud, strained relationship with loved ones, dowry harassment and health problems. In a research by the Indian National Crime Records Bureau, it was noted that suicide cases in the country were registered at 118,112 and over 100,000, in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
Most of those who committed suicide were farmers, and the victims took their lives either by hanging or consuming poison. Aside from farmers, women also topped the list of people in India with suicidal tendencies. Since 1998 about 25 000 Indian farmers have committed suicide because they could not repay their debts. These debts, however, have largely accumulated because these farmers were severely overcharged by their money-lenders asking for up to 32% of interest.
76 per cent of the nation’s land is belonging to 23 per cent of population. More than 15 million rural households in India are landless. Another 45 million rural families own some land, less than 0.10 acre each, which is hardly enough to make them self- sufficient, let alone generate a profit. 340 million people in India are dependent largely on agricultural wage labour, $1 or less a day.[Rural Development Institute (RDI), Washington]
70 per cent of the Indian population still directly depends on agriculture, but growth in this sector declined from a lackluster 3.8 per cent to an even more anaemic 2.6 per cent last year.