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Daily Wagers Biggest Group Among Suicide Victims in 2021: NCRB

According to the “Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India” report, the daily wage earner remained the largest group (profession-wise) among the total number of suicide victims in 2021.
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Representational use only.Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The latest report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that not only has the share of daily wage earners among suicide victims gone up during 2021, but the number has also increased faster than the national average.

According to the report titled 'Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India', one in four of the recorded 1,64,033 suicide victims during 2021 was a daily wage earner. This accounts for 42,004 suicides (25.6%).

In 2020, too, daily wage earners accounted for the highest share, with 37,666 (24.6%) of the 1,53,052 recorded suicides in the country. In 2019, before the Covid outbreak, the share of daily wage earners was 23.4% (32,563) of the recorded 1,39,123 suicides.

Further, in 2021, the number of suicides in the daily wage earner group increased by 11.52% as compared to 2020 in the country, while at the national level, the number of suicides rose by 7.17% during the same time period.

The report lists the daily wage numbers separately from those of agricultural labourers, who have been grouped in a sub-category under the category of ‘Persons engaged in farming sector’. According to the report, 10,881 suicides were recorded in the ‘Persons engaged in farming sector’ group in 2021, including 5,318 under ‘farmer/cultivator’ and 5,563 ‘agricultural labourers’.

Significantly, while the number of suicides committed by ‘farmer/cultivator’ has dipped — 5,579 in 2020 and 5,957 in 2019 — those by ‘agriculture labourers’ has risen sharply from 5,098 in 2020 and 4,324 in 2019, according to an Indian Express analysis.

The NCRB categorises suicide data into nine categories: students, professional/ salaried persons, daily wage earners, retired persons, unemployed persons, self-employed persons, housewives, persons engaged in the farming sector and other persons.

The latest NCRB report has also reported the number of state-wise suicide cases. Karnataka is among the top five states in the country with the highest share of number to suicides in 2021. The state stands fifth after Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh.

The report also shows that Delhi, which is the most-populous Union Territory, has reported the highest number of suicides (2,840) among total UTs in India, followed by Puducherry (504). A total of 25,891 suicides were reported in the 53 megacities of the country in 2021.

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