In past five months, at least eight suicide cases were reported at various metro stations in Delhi. Doctors have attributed depression as the most common factor that prompts people to commit such acts.
From different age groups, at least eight cases of suicides were reported between April to October. Among these cases, five were committed in September alone. Besides, seven other people attempted suicide between April and October, some of whom were battling depression.
On the occasion of World Mental Health Day on Thursday, doctors said that many people choose getting hit by metro trains to kill themselves as it allows them to die with minimal pain, and the chances of survivability is almost none.
As per the WHO website, every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide, and so the theme of World Mental Health this year is ‘working together to prevent suicide’.
Experts said that the stressful and lonely life in metropolitan cities often contributes to depression in a person. This contemplates them ending their lives over a duration of time.
“Depression is the major reason that drives people to commit suicide. If the person is intent on killing himself or herself they take such methods of killing themselves as the lethality is ensured and pain is minimal, like a metro train, whose speed can kill almost instantly,” Rajeev Mehta, Consultant Psychiatrist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said.
“Impulsive suicides are only about five per cent and the rest are planned by the person committing it after contemplating it over a period of time. The final act of suicide happens only after the person has totally given up on life and sees no hope,” he added.
The first suicide case at the metro station was reported on May 1, when a civic agency worker killed himself by jumping in front of a metro train, at the Dwarka Sector 9 station on the Blue Line.
In June, at the Civil Lines metro station, a 23-year-old man jumped in front of a moving Delhi Metro train. The man was undergoing treatment for depression from last two years, the police said.
As per the records, September saw the maximum number of suicides. In the first week of September, three suicides were reported at different metro stations, while the rest two on September 11 and 16.
In April this year, taking the cognisance of the cases, the Delhi Metro authorities had taken up the issue and stared a campaign ‘#NeverGiveUp’ to raise awareness about the sound mental health.
“As part of our ongoing campaign we have been raising awareness on mental health issues so that people do not take the extreme step and instead soldier on in their life even during tough times,” a senior DMRC official said.
“Presently, PSDs (platform screen doors) are installed at all stations of Phase-III network on Pink and Magenta Line whereas, PSDs were also retrofitted at old busy stations of Kashmere Gate, Rajiv Chowk, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Chawari Bazar and Central Secretariat. Primarily, PSDs are meant for crowd control but they act as deterrent also for suicides,” the official said.
The DMRC has kept its frontline staff, those sitting at the customer care and manning the stations, vigil on any person in a depressed state. The staff has also been instructed to keep an eye on person having prolonged stay in metro premises and guide them for necessary assistance.
” After so many cases being reported in quick succession, we have also asked our team to be alert at stations and the CCTV footage is being monitored to see if anyone is liotering at platform or spending unduly longer time,” a senior CISF official said.
“All passengers are requested to be alert at the platform when metro trains are approaching and stop any fellow passenger who attempts to cross the yellow line before the train comes to a complete halt,” he added.
The latest suicide incident at the metro station was reported on Wednesday, when a man in his 50s got injured while trying to commit suicide by jumping in front of metro train. The incident occurred at the Uttam Nagar East metro station on Delhi Metro’s Blue Line.
According to Amulya Seth, Consultant Psychiatrist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad, in today’s time, “peer pressure and lack of motivation also leads to depression”.
Asked why people are using metro stations for committing suicide, the doctor said, it is because “people find it easy”.
When asked if copycat cases of suicide can happen at a metro station, Mehta, said, “While there is no epidemiological study to correlate them, in some cases, a person contemplating suicide may get triggered by knowing about other cases”.