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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Teen Barred From Facebook Kills Herself By Vibhuti Agarwal/ India real time/ Wall Street Journal

Thursday, December 5, 2013 10:28:37 GMT

India Real Time

Teen Barred From Facebook Kills Herself

Paul Sakuma/Associated Press
The suicide of a teenage girl in Mumbai after she was barred from FacebookFB +1.04% puts the spotlight on India’s teenage suicide trend.
The parents of a 17-year-old Indian girl who killed herself late Wednesday after they barred her from Facebook, have said that they are in deep shock at her death and simply wanted her to concentrate more on her studies.
Aishwarya S. Dahiwal, a second-year college student from Parbhani in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, had asked her parents’ consent to log on to Facebook Wednesday night, police investigating the case said.
An argument ensued during which Ms. Dahiwal was reproached by her parents for “paying less attention to her studies,” using social networking sites and making long phone calls to friends, G.H. Lemgude, the investigating police officer in Parbhani told India Real Time Friday.
Her body was found on Thursday morning. She had killed herself by hanging, the police said.
Ms. Dahiwal’s death has once again put the spotlight on the teenage suicide trend in Maharashtra, one of India’s most developed states.
A total of 16,112 people killed themselves in the state last year, placing it second in the list of Indian states with the highest suicide rate, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. Tamil Nadu was the state with the most, there were 16,927 suicides there in 2012, followed by West Bengal with 14,957 and Karnataka where 12,753 took their own lives.
According to information available on the NCRB website, family problems were thought to be the single largest factor driving people to end their lives.
In a note recovered from Ms. Dahiwal’s room after her death, according to police, the teenager wrote that her parents’ decision not to allow her to access Facebook had driven her to decide to take her own life.
Her father Sunil Dahiwal told India Real Time Friday: “We still can’t believe it. We are in deep shock.”
“We just wanted her to focus on her studies. We never thought she would ever take such a harsh step,” Mr. Dahiwal added.
A case of accidental death has been registered and investigation is underway, the police said.
Johnson Thomas, director of Aasra, a Mumbai-based helpline that works towards prevention of suicides, said the problems presently faced by young people range from peer and academic pressure to lack of communication with parents and broken relationships.
In June, a 25-year-old Bollywood actor Jiah Khan committed suicide after an alleged failed relationship.
In a separate incident, a teenager ended her life last month in Mumbai, she was experiencing depression after her mother’s death, local reports said.
“The fact that majority of suicides are by those between 15 and 35 years imposes a huge social, emotional and economic burden on society,” Mr. Johnson said.
He also blamed the breakdown of India’s traditional family system for people taking their own lives.
In big cities like Mumbai – where it is common for both parents to work – children tend to become isolated and spend too much time chatting with friends on cellphone and using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and others, according to Mr. Johnson.
survey by Tata Consultancy Services in June showed nearly 92% India’s high school students prefer to go on Facebook than make phone calls to communicate.
Mr. Johnson argues there’s a simple solution. “Parents should take out more time to understand the needs of their children, communicate better a build a strong relationship with them. This will greatly alleviate the problem.”
Follow India Real Time on Twitter @WSJIndia

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