Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

The case of a 25-year-old assistant lecturer of Samtse College of Education (SCE), who took her own life on February 2, not only shocked and saddened local residents but also many others.

This was because the deceased was an assistant lecturer at the department of contemplative counselling psychology in the college.

The college management refused to share any information. However, the deceased’s relatives raised relationship issues to be the cause of the incident, according to sources.

A police official said they are investigating the case.

Meanwhile, the number of suicide cases has been increasing in Samtse.

It was learnt 15 people took their own lives last year, the youngest was a 13-year old student.  In 2019, 12 people killed themselves.  In 2017, the youngest to take his life was a 12-year old student and the oldest was a 64-year old man.  In 2016, Samtse recorded 17 suicide cases.

A health official said that the boy had taken the extreme step because of a trivial reason.

“He just had a quarrel with his brother.”

A health official said suicide cases are still rising despite awareness and sensitisation.

“Social issues, substance abuse and depression are some of the main causes for people in Samtse taking their own lives.”

Tendruk gup and dzongkhag tshogdu chairperson, Nima Dukpa, said the main reason behind such tragedies is mostly due to globalisation.

“There is a lack of social engagements among people these days.”

He cited examples of how mobile phone keep people detached from social and real interaction.

“A parent today gives a phone to a two-year-old crying.”

The gup also said rapid development that affects people.

“It’s a global trend such tragedies occur when a country is developing at a rapid pace.”

Tashichholing (Sipsu) gup Samir Giri said youth taking extreme steps are due to the ill effects of social media today and the over-exposure to the virtual world.

“Today, children have access to everything. They tend to seek superpowers like in the virtual world. Children are affected mentally.”

He also said the development in the country is at a good pace but it is not a healthy one in terms of human development.

“People go to foreign countries, live there for a few years, return and try to impose developments at the pace of those places.”

RENEW’s focal person in Samtse, Kinley Dorji, who is also the Norbugang gewog’s administrative officer, said they keep on doing awareness and sensitisation programmes for such social issues in the dzongkhag.

“Just recently we concluded one in the 12 gewogs.”

Although the number of suicide cases is high in Samtse, he said it was difficult to exactly understand why it was happening.

“Last year in Chengmari, three people took their own lives in just less than 10 days.”