Gangtok, 30 Oct [IPR]: A meeting was convened under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, SC Gupta to take stock of the growing number of suicides in the state and to explore how the State departments could address the issues of suicide in the State at the conference hall of Tashiling Secretariat on 24 Oct, 2019.
The Departments who were invited for the meeting were Social Justice and Welfare Dept, Education Dept, Police Dept, Ecclesiastical Dept, RDD, Excise Dept, Member Secretary-SLSA, Law, IPR, Finance, AAYUSH, Program Officer-SADA and Freedom NGO.
The Chief Secretary discussed all the ongoing schemes in all the departments and further sought ideas and inputs on the possibility of convergence between Departments so that the issue of suicides can be taken up in a holistic manner by the state.
Ideas like using yoga teachers as counsellors in schools, the role of panchayats in sensitizing the public in dealing with the bereaved family, exploring the possibility of training religious organizations to sensitise the people who come to them for help, sensitizing of police while reporting and dealing with such cases were discussed at large.
The house was also made aware of the cases that are being dealt by the Suicide helpline which is run by Freedom NGO. They were proud to inform that there are many attempters who have survived because of the helpline. The survivors are not just from Sikkim but also other states like UP and Maharashtra.
The Chief Secretary further directed the house to create a road map for the future wherein issues like social integration of survivors and drug users can be looked into. Another important road map was the introduction of life skill training program that is to be introduced in all schools so as to train the students to cope with the day-to-day challenges.
Lastly, the CS spoke about the need to sensitize media personnel who cover these incidents on responsible reporting.
The meeting concluded with constitution of a State level and District level committee for prevention and control of suicide.