More and more youth belonging to Himachal Pradesh are committing suicide by consuming poison as a result of stress and changing lifestyles. In the year 2005 alone, as many as 1,254 people committed suicide by consuming poison, according to sources from the State Forensic Laboratory.
"This figure has been rising each year since 1995 when 841 people died. It rose to 1,123 in 1999 and touched 1,254 last year," said J.R. Gaur, Director of the Himachal Pradesh Forensic Institute.
In recent years, failure in school or college examinations, domestic feuds and other stress-induced reasons have been blamed for the rising suicides.
"According to figures collated for the last 11 years, a total of 11,972 suicides due to consumption of poison were reported in the state," Gaur said. Whenever a case of death due to poison is reported from hospitals, the autopsy report is sent to the institute. Often doctors send samples to the institute to ascertain the exact cause of death.
Others say the actual figure of poison related deaths could be higher because many cases go unreported. With 90% of the population living in villages, where medical facilities are poor, the cause of death is often undetermined. Suicides haunt Himachal Pradesh's young despite their high literacy.