Home Opinion Column It’s all about embracing empathy

It’s all about embracing empathy

Rising incidents of suicides are shocking. No doubt that the lockdown has triggered distress in the common man to the extent that they are not refraining from taking their own lives. It is sad to see that a new trend of family suicide has also emerged very fast where the entire family is giving up and collectively embracing death. I am sure it must be bothering you as well and empathetic effort from our side can make a difference.

It’s a well-established truth by now that we are living in unprecedented circumstances where the covid-19 induced lockdown has created multilateral, multi-layered havoc in the society. The direct deaths from corona may have reached up 100 million globally, but no one knows how many deaths will occur due to the social, psychological and economic after-effects of this pandemic.

The fear of uncertain future has engulfed human psyche all over world. In India, situation is more delicate. having large section of society under the poverty line, India has its distinct struggle. There is immense scope that India being the 2nd largest populated country in the world, may have to face enormous issues allied with covid. The persistent Increase in the number of suicides seems one of them.

Just after the announcement of the very first Lockdown, all have witnessed the mass exodus of migrant labourers, many of them died on road due to starvation or accident (government may choose to deny). Furthermore, the increasing number of suicides have become all pervasive. It is heart wrenching to see that children as young as 13-year-old to 75-year-old senior citizens are resorting to death as the final solution. The concept of family suicide was never prevalent in the society as such as it is now. God knows from where does the family gathers the courage to die together-what makes the situation so compelling for them that they resort to end their lives.

Ending it all.

It is not difficult to get the answer if we assess what society has gone through in the past six months. The abrupt break on the already slowed economy has affected many aspects of the country at once, thus disrupting millions of lives. Consequently, lacs of people have lost their job, the unorganised groups got shattered, the members of the low income group like the auto rickshaw puller, auto driver, salesmen of malls, barbers, beauticians, domestic helpers to name a few, all were suddenly out of jobs.

In the past six months they have suffered a massive money crunch, even after the government began the protocols for the unlocking of the country. With elderly at home having some certain medical routine expenditures, the children with educational requirements, one can only imagine how difficult it could be for a person who has taken loan or purchased something on EMI. In such scenario if the news of suicides makes the headline, it should not come as surprise.

Let’s ponder on what can be done to prevent it. As sensible and sensible soul no one from us want this to continue. What can be done in this situation? Should we leave them struggling on own, should we leave them at their fate and wait for some more suicides. Or else act together, displaying the brotherhood our country is known for and save the dignity of the needy. Definitely, we have to be kind and compassionate in this period. If we extend our hands to those who are in desperate state today, we can certainly save some lives. We cannot leave them to die.

Do remember that one does not require millions to be a philanthropist, a kind and compassionate heart is enough to make the world a better place. It is time that we as the privileged section of the society do our part, if you are denying your maid her monthly salary, imagine how will she survive without having any secured money. If you have stopped giving clothes to iron to washer man, think that he /she would be managing without money. Same applies to all who have helped you all through, please help them to survive these crises.

Despite our fears for uncertain future, we cannot lose the basic principles of empathy and humanity. Many NGOs and certain individuals have been doing their part. We also need to join hands and help those who are feeling dejected at present. Whether we will win corona that only time will reveal but staying united and helping each other in this corana-kaal will definite make our conscience a winner.

(Articles and opinions reflect personal views, perspectives and arguments of the author. We believe in civil debate and discussion among all sides and we give space to a wide spectrum of opinions and diverse views within the limits of decency. Opinions expressed in columns and articles in no way represent views and opinions of Town Post, its editor or its editorial policies.)

Dr Neha Tiwari is an academic, writer, critic and filmmaker. She has been nominated as a member of the jury for best writing in cinema for the 65th National Film Awards. She has written 6 state-level radio features and 1 Serial for AIR. Her area of interest includes media, literature and life. She teaches in Karim City College Jamshedpur as an Assistant Professor of English. She is also nurturing Mass Communication as Professor In-Charge since 2005.

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