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35000+ student suicides reported between 2019-2021: MoS Social Justice

December 6, 2023

Between 2019 and 2021, the Lok Sabha was informed that over 35,000 students in the country had taken their own lives. Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Abbaiah Narayanaswamy shared this information in response to a Lok Sabha question about the number of suicides among Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students due to social discrimination.

In a written reply, Narayanaswamy presented data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), indicating a rise in student suicides from 10,335 in 2019 to 12,526 in 2020 and further to 13,089 in 2021.

Regarding suicides due to social discrimination, the minister stated that there is no specific information available regarding the number of SC and ST students affected.

To address and prevent social discrimination, the Department of Higher Education has taken steps, including the establishment of counseling cells and various mechanisms such as SC/ST students’ cells, equal opportunity cells, students’ grievance cells, students’ grievance committees, and the appointment of liaison officers in educational institutions across the country.

Additionally, Narayanaswamy highlighted the enforcement of the Protection of Civil Rights (PCR) Act, 1955, which prescribes punishment for the enforcement of any disability arising from the practice of ‘untouchability,’ and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. These laws aim to prevent the commission of offenses of atrocities against members, including students, of SCs and STs.

Source: PTI

Also read: 8 ways to discuss suicide with teens

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