Mirwaiz For Launching Campaign To Curb Suicides

Mirwaiz For Launching Campaign To Curb Suicides

28 March 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)


Srinagar: With the number of suicides on the rise in Kashmir, which is also emerging as a major social problem in the trouble-torn region, moderate separatist leader and Hurriyat Chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has underlined the need to address the menace by launching a campaign against it. As a first step towards it, Mirwaiz, who is also a religious head, has proposed a joint session of Islamic scholars and mosque Imamas (religious heads) in the city on April 6 to carve out a joint strategy against the rising suicides. Mirwaiz made this statement in his Friday sermon in Srinagar's Jama (grand) mosque today, where he also delivered a religious talk on the rising suicides and other social evils such as drug addiction, particularly among the youth. Adding to the number of rising suicide cases in Kashmir, particularly Srinagar city, a teenager girl jumped into the Jhelum river on March 19 from the busy Amira Kadal Bridge, which connects Lal Chowk to other parts of the city. 'Mirwaiz today stressed upon launching an effective campaign against the social evils such as betting, waywardness and the increasing suicidal tendencies in the Kashmir society,' a Hurriyat spokesman said in a statement, while referring to Mirwaiz's Friday sermon delivered today at Jama Mosque. 'A big section of our society has indulged in such activities as they have strayed away from Islamic teachings and set aside moral values,' Mirwaz said while addressing the people. Mirwaiz said in many districts social evils such as drugs, suicides and waywardness has alarming proportions and in many areas these things have become epidemic. He, however, said in the first phase, a joint session of Imamas from all parts of Srinagar, prominent religious scholars and personalities would be convened on April 6, wherein these issues would be deliberated and a joint strategy adopted for containing these social evils. Mirwaiz said in the second phase people behind such activities would be identified and he would also embark upon visits to such areas to sensitise people against social evils. A social problem The Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) recorded 248 suicides in 2010. In 2011, over 1,000 suicides cases were registered with SKIMS and SMHS hospitals. Sociologists say stress among women due to social and economic pressures is behind such incidents. Sociologist says many social and economic factors in Kashmir force people take extreme steps.