What can drive a mother to do this?
At around 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon, residents of the Jaraganahalli in JP Nagar, Bengaluru, India, heard a loud thud.
They rushed out of their homes to see what the commotion was about and found a 9-year-old girl lying in her pool of blood. She still looked slightly conscious and when they closed in they recognised her as one of the other residents’ daughter.
Within a few minutes, Swathi Sarkar, the 36-year-old mother of the girl came rushing down from their four-storey building.
Instead of taking her to the hospital Swathi picked up her daughter and went to the terrace and threw her back in the same spot. This killed the girl immediately.
This is not the story of a movie, but a real-life incident that reportedly occurred in front of a few eye witnesses in a posh Bengaluru neighbourhood on Sunday, August 27.
Swathi Sarkar was first tied on a pole by neighbours who saw her commit the crime and later arrested by the police.
But why did this happen?
When the police arrested and questioned Swathi, she claimed that her 9-year-old daughter Ashika aka Shreya was mentally challenged. So she decided to kill her and then commit suicide.
Sarkar had reportedly been working as a teacher for the past two years and was separated from her husband, who worked in a private firm in the city.
She came to Bengaluru with him about 10 years ago and separated one year back. Her husband Kanchan Sarkar, was even providing financial assistance to Swathi as well as Ashika.
Depression and a differently-abled child pushed Swathi?
The police added that Swathi also seemed mentally unstable and as per local residents she was desperately trying to get her speech impaired daughter to talk.
“The accused claims the child had autism. We are yet to confirm this. We are investigating on what triggered her to take this step, her psychological state,” Dr SD Sharanappa, a senior police officer told NDTV.
The officials also stated that Swathi’s husband claimed that she often harassed their daughter due to her condition.
What remains to be seen is whether this killer mom will be punished or helped because it looks as though she was suffering from depression.
Depression is a silent killer!
While not many know of or even accept that they may be suffering from this silent urban killer, if left undetected it can lead to people committing such horrible crimes.
We spoke to Dr Samir Parikh, director, Mental Health nd Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, Delhi, to find out about the early symptoms of depression.
“Regardless of age, gender or occupation, all individuals do experience low moods at many moments of their day-to-day life. It is therefore important to separate it from chronic symptoms,” says Dr Parikh as he lists some of the most prominent symptoms of depression.
- A depressive episode is characterised by a 2-week period marked by a depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure in activities
- These symptoms could also be accompanied by significant weight loss, decrease or increase in appetite, sleep disturbances, low energy levels and fatigue.
- A depressed individual might experience feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt, with a difficulty in concentration, difficulty in decision-making, and recurrent thoughts of death.
So how can one help such a depressed person? Dr Parikh shares some ways.
- Provide support, empathy and a listening ear.
- Give the person a chance to express him/herself.
- Try and empathise with the person and try and understand the emotions that he or she is going through. Do not interrogate or form judgements.
- Convey your genuine concern and support.
- It would also be beneficial if you could help the individual to reach out to the help of a professional mental health expert.
- Be vigilant. In cases of severe depression, it is vital for the family, friends or caregivers to be on the alert for signs of suicidal ideation.
- All dangerous items that are potentially harmful including sharp objects, pills, and poisonous substances need to be removed from the reach of the individual.
- Encourage the depressed person to seek the support of mental health experts to ensure adequate intervention and prevent adverse outcomes.
- “Talk”: We should not hesitate to initiate the conversation with the affected person, as it is important to give a chance to express their feelings and release their pent-up emotions.
Republished with permission from theIndusparent.