Suicide rate on the rise among kids, teens in Ilam

ILAM: Suicide rate among children and teenagers is on the rise in Ilam district.

Kamal Niraula,13, of Kanyam-4, took his life by hanging himself on October 29, 2006. He was in Grade VIII at that time. Though the motive of his suicide is unknown, it is said that he had asked his parents for new clothes before he had killed himself.

Six months later, Kamal's fifteen-year-old sister, Pramila, also tried to commit suicide by consuming poison. Family members speculate that she had tried to commit suicide as she could not bear her younger brother's death.

Thirteen children have committed suicide in the district within the last seven years, according to the police.

It has been found that children of the area have committed suicide due to minor disputes with family members.

Bhisma Dawadi of Soyak-7 had committed suicide on September 11, 2005 after his teachers and guardians scolded him on charge of stealing a packet of noodle from a shop.

Meanwhile, Merina Chipalu, 12, of Ilam Municipality-1, burnt herself to death in a bathroom after a teacher scolded her as she had gone to the riverside without permission. Similarly, Milan Tamang,11, of Mangalbare-4, committed suicide on 31 March, 2004, as his guardian did not buy him a football. Mina Pradhan,14, of Pyang- 6 killed herself on 10 December, 2007, after her brother married a girl of her dislike.

Psychiatrist at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences Dharan, Dr Rabi Shakya, informed that they had not studied about the child suicide cases in particular. Informing that suicide rate of children according to studies had doubled in other countries, he said that it had also increased in Nepal.

According to Dr Shakya, depression is the main cause of suicide. "Ninety percent of the people commit suicide due to depression," he said, adding, "I suggest guardians to take proper care of children if they see symptoms of depression.”