The year 2020 saw a jump of 29 per cent in suicides among the business community while such deaths among tradesmen increased from 2,906 to 4,356 — a 49.9 per cent jump.
As the country reeled under the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequential lockdown in 2020, the business community recorded more suicides than farmers while deaths of “tradesmen” due to the same reason rose by 50 per cent.
According to the latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), as many as 11,716 businessmen died by suicide in 2020 compared to 10,667 farmers in the same year. Of these over 11,000 deaths, 4,356 were that of “tradesmen” and 4,226 were of “vendors”, with the rest being accounted for in the category of “other businesses”.
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These are the three groups that the NCRB categorises the business community into while recording suicides.
Compared to 2019, the year 2020 saw a jump of 29 per cent in suicides among the business community while such deaths among tradesmen increased from 2,906 to 4,356 — a 49.9 per cent jump.
Meanwhile, the country witnessed a jump of 10 per cent in overall suicide figures which stood at 1,53,052 in 2020 – the highest ever in India.
The data is in contrast with the traditional trend where business community has always seen fewer such deaths when compared to farmers. During the pandemic, and the resultant lockdowns, small businesses and traders suffered heavily, with many being forced to down shutters or default on loans.
“In the Covid year, small business has been impacted very badly. Till now it was believed that more farmers commit suicide due to crop failure and mounting loans. But this shows that businessmen have been under no less stress and the pandemic has made it worse,” The Indian Express quoted Anil Bhardwaj, Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, as saying.