A 17-year-old Indian girl killed herself on Wednesday after her parents told her she needed to stop wasting her time on Facebook and her mobile phone and focus more on her studies. Newsweek Pakistan reported Friday that the girl, Aishwarya Dahiwal of Maharashtra state’s Parbhani city, was found hanging in her bedroom after arguing with her parents on Wednesday. She left a suicide note which references Facebook and the argument with her parents which police are currently examining.
“On Wednesday night, she had an argument with her parents who told her not to just use Facebook and her mobile all day for chatting,” an officer from Nanal Peth police station who asked to remain unidentified told Newsweek Pakistan. “They told her to focus on her studies. After the argument, she locked herself in her room and was found hanging later, with a suicide note nearby,” he said.
Investigating officer GH Lemgude of Nanalpeth police station in Parbhani told Times of India that the parents had no intention of pushing their daughter over the edge when they tried to get their daughter off Facebook and the phone.
While Internet is still low across India, Facebook use is quickly spreading among teens and high school students who prefer using the social network over the telephone to communicate according to Newsweek Pakistan.
Of the 1.2 billion people in India some 200 million are expected to have Internet access by the end of 2013. The Wall Street Journal reported that the teen’s death is one among a startling suicide trend in Maharashtra, one of India’s most developed states. Some 16,112 people committed suicide in that state last year alone ranking it with the second highest suicide rate among Indian states.
India’s National Crime Records Bureau highlight family problems as the single largest factor driving people to commit suicide. Dahiwal reportedly noted in her suicide note that not being able to access Facebook caused her to kill herself.
“We still can’t believe it. We are in deep shock,” the girl’s father Sunil Dahiwal told India Real Time Friday. We just wanted her to focus on her studies. We never thought she would ever take such a harsh step,” he added.