Why Are Indian Women Setting Themselves on Fire?

February 21, 2011, CHENNAI

28-year-old R Sushila was admitted to the burns ward of the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital (KMCH) after she tried to immolate herself, When she died a week later with 90% burns, it was recorded as a suicide. However, nurses said she had told them she committed suicide unable to bear the pressure and harrassment from her husband and in-laws for dowry.

In 2010, according to the state crime records bureau only 13 dowry case deaths were recorded in the city while the state commission for women recorded just one but the burns ward at the KMCH tells a completely different story. “In some cases the husband or in-laws burn the woman and bring her to the hospital where death is recorded as an accident or suicide,” says head nurse Sister Amala.

Doctors and nurses in the burns ward say 90% of the victims in the cases they see in a day are women, most of whom have committed suicide because of harrassment at home and most have been married for less than five years.

Read the report


2 Responses

  1. I bet the divorce rate is extremely low in India 😉

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