Reality of suicides in Tamil Nadu – online games wrongly reported as cause of recent suicides in Tamil Nadu

The Rotary Rainbow Project working closely with the families of suicide victims find gaps in reports on suicides

Chennai.8th Sep 2022-

 A humanitarian project to support suicide victims in Tamil Nadu, has found instances of misreporting of cause of suicide, leading to erroneous reports that online games as reason of suicide in many instances The Rotary Rainbow Project of  Rotary International District 3232 and District 3201, an initiative  to support the kin of suicide victims in Tamil Nadu, has been closely working with the families of suicide victims. 

They include the family of Kalimuthu, a constable of the Coimbatore armed city force, who took his own life in July, 2022.  According to media reports, addiction to online rummy was the reason for his extreme decision. The Rotary Rainbow project has been giving counseling to Late Kalimuthu’s wife, Thillai and also supporting her children’s education. The immediate family has said that the burden of the depth trap is the real reason for the suicide and not playing online games.

It was reported in June, 2022, that  Nagarajan, a painting contractor who lived with his family in Manali, took his own life, because he was addicted to online games. Rotary Rainbow Project is supporting the family of Nagaraja and mentoring them by offering moral as well as financial support. The victim’s family has also said that Nagarajan had to take this extreme step as he got caught in a debt trap. They also confirmed that his death had nothing to do with online games, as wrongly reported.

A report by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) said that a total of 1,64,033 suicides were reported in the country during 2021 showing an increase of 7.2% in comparison to 2020.  The report also listed the top causes of suicide in the nation. According to NCRB, most of the problems were associated with one’s job or career, loneliness, abuse, violence, conflict in families, mental illness, alcoholism, financial loss, and chronic pain.

“The greatest gift of life is life itself. One of the most important ways to prevent suicide rates from growing is to recognize the real cause of these deaths and work towards finding a sustainable way of preventing them. Giving all suicide a singular misleading label will do a great disservice to humanity and to the victim’s families. ” said  Rtn PP Sridhar  of Rotary Club of Chennai Infocity 

Tamil Nadu has historically among the highest suicide rates in India. Research reports that pre-date the advent of online rummy has pointed high suicide rates in the state. A 2003 research reporting by A Joseph, said that Tamil Nadu has reported suicide rates that are up to nine times the reported national average.  A 2009 research study in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry said “Studies from rural Tamil Nadu have reported the highest suicide rates in the world.”  A 2017 report on suicide prevention in Tamil Nadu under the supervision of Dr. Alex Cohen said that as World Health Organization data of 2015,  the state has higher official suicide rate  than every country in the world.

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