Rudyard Kipling said, “God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.” Mother’s love is the purest form of love known to humankind. The suicide of a doctor from Kerala, who could not bear the news of her son’s accidental death, reminds us of these sayings.
Dr. Meharunnisa, an otolaryngologist, was practicing at Mavelikara District Hospital in Kayamkulam town of Alappuzha district. The 48-year-old doctor was the wife of Advocate Shafique Rahman, who was the retired deputy director of prosecution. Their elder son, Binyamin, who was pursuing engineering in Canada, had a car accident and passed away on Thursday night. On hearing the news of the son’s demise, the doctor was devastated and depressed.
The loss of her son had a heavy impact on her mental health. She had called a friend of hers and told her that she had lost her son and had no purpose of living anymore. This alarmed the friend, who promptly called Dr. Meharunnisa’s husband to alert him about her mental breakdown. Meanwhile, Mr. Rahman and the younger son were at the mosque for their Friday prayers. They rushed to the home around 7.30 am, only to find the devastated mother hanging from the ceiling. They took her to the hospital immediately, but she had passed away already.
The police officers then rushed to the scene and carried out their proceedings. They then sent her mortal remains to the government hospital for a postmortem.
The loss of two lives within two days had left the family and community in deep sorrow. According to an article published in 2023, India ranks 49th globally in suicide (1), with a suicide rate of 12 per lakh in the population (2). They also found that suicide rates are higher among educated women (1). This shocking report highlights the need to take care of people's mental health.
The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day observed on September 10, 2023, is "Creating Hope Through Action," which encourages people to take the initiative to help individuals who are contemplating suicide and to give them hope. It is a strong summons to action that helps individuals realize that there are other things to think about besides ending one's life. As a result, anyone can support people who are contemplating suicide by cheering them up and doing whatever they can to assist them. More awareness campaigns need to be conducted to prevent the loss of pure souls like that of this bereaved mother.
(Input from various media sources)
1. Yadav S, K AK, Argeseanu Cunningham S, Bhandari P, Shankar Mishra U, Aditi A, et al. Changing pattern of suicide deaths in India Comment. www.thelancet.com [Internet]. 2023 [cited November 25, 2023]. Available from: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
2. Singh O., Startling suicide statistics in India: Time for urgent action. Indian J. Psychiatry [Internet]. 2022 Sep 1 [cited 2023 Nov 25];64(5):431–2. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/indianjpsychiatry/fulltext/2022/64100/startling_suicide_statistics_i n_india__time_for.1.aspx