PESHAWAR: Suicide by young girls in Chitral have, unfortunately, become a frequent occurrence. Recently, a student of Grade 9 took her life after jumping into the Chitral River near Awi village. The teenage girl is reported to have eloped with a Grade 10 student, but allegedly was assaulted by the boy and his friends, prompting her to commit suicide.
Although investigations of the case are under way, what is alarming is that it is the second case in September this year alone of a teenage girl committing suicide. According to women right’s organisations in the district, these numbers may be underreported as most families do not report such cases owing to different reasons, including ‘honour’ and the lack of police stations.
In the past few years, there has been a rise in the number of suicide cases of teenage girls in Chitral making it increasingly important for the authorities concerned to get to the bottom of it and advocate the importance of mental health. Not only the girls but their parents and society at large, should be made aware of mental health issues and how to tackle them effectively. Counselling at schools should also be made mandatory.
Azfar Wali Khan
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2017.