Even as the ruling and Opposition parties slug it out in the state legislative Assembly, and outside, over farmers’ suicide, government statistics have shown a trend of decreasing numbers for the second year in succession after peaking in 2015 in the six districts suicide-prone districts.
In 2015, the tally in the six districts — Vidarbha’s Buldhana, Akola, Washim, Amravati, Yavatmal and Wardha — was 1,348. In 2016, the numbers came down to 1,235 and this year till December 11, the tally was 1,109. Incidentally, barring Buldhana and Akola, all other districts have shown a drop in numbers. Buldhana has shown consistency in rise and fall of numbers, along with districts in Marathwada, which it is adjacent to. The government had started collecting suicide data from the countryside, all of which are tagged as “farmers’ suicide”, since 2006.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that the suicide numbers had been decreasing since 2006 when it had stood at 1,448 for the six districts. The tally had dropped by about half to 805 in 2013. In 2010, however, it went up to 1,177 from the previous year’s 1,005. But in 2014, the numbers again went up to 964. The next year, 2015, the figures saw a jump to 1,348 — an increase by 384 suicides. In 2016, the numbers dropped to 1,235 — a decrease by 113 suicides. With the tally at 1,109 this year so far, it is unlikely to exceed last year’s figures. District-wise, Buldhana has shown a jump from last year’s figure of 241 to 297 this year. The district had 306 suicides in 2006, which had come down to 111 in 2013.
Akola numbers have also gone up from 115 last year to 162 thisyear. In 2015, Akola had registered 195 suicides. Yavatmal, known to be the suicide capital of Vidarbha, has also shown a drop from last year’s 272 to 225 this year. The district had registered 386 suicides in 2015, an all time record for any district.
Amravati that has shown a consistent increase in numbers from 2014, registering 209, 306 and 349 suicides in the following years, has registered the most impressive drop to 251 till December 11 this year. Washim numbers have come down from 108 in 2015 to 71 and Wardha numbers are down from 164 to 103.