Rotary findings raise big questions around sensational misreporting of suicides in TN

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A humanitarian project in Tamil Nadu has revealed instances of glaring misreporting regarding the sensational suicides in the state due to addiction to online rummy and other online games. The project has dismissed earlier reports of connecting suicide to online rummy.

The Rotary Rainbow Project of Rotary International District 3232 & 3201, is an initiative that works closely with families of suicide victims, supporting the kin of suicide victims.

The sensational suicide of Kalimuthu, a constable of the Coimbatore armed city force, who reportedly committed suicide after addiction to online rummy was found by the Rotary Rainbow project connected with debt trap. But according to the latest findings, his family has dismissed the links to rummy behind his unfortunate demise.

Similarly, it was reported in June, that Nagarajan, a painting contractor took his own life due to addiction to online rummy. But the Rotary Rainbow Project has revealed that the contractor was burdened with debt, which was the real reason before his suicide and not his addiction to playing rummy or online games. The victim’s family also backed the findings by stating that Nagarajan had to take extreme steps as he was caught in a debt trap. They also revealed that his death was wrongly reported and it had nothing to do with online rummy.

“The greatest gift of life is life itself. One of the most important ways to prevent suicide rates from growing is to recognise 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 P.P. Sridhar of the Rotary Club of Chennai Infocity

Notably, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported Bankruptcy as the leading cause of suicide along with addiction, marriage, love-related issues, and unemployment in 2021. Historically, Tamil Nadu boasts of one of the highest suicide rates in the country since 1966 and have ranked among the top two or three states in suicide deaths. 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.”