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‘It’s My duty to save Lives’ The story of Yukio Shige

2018-07-19 15:29:25
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Sometimes you feel so low in your life that you have no energy to move ahead. The only option may be giving up. This could be due to many factors including depression, loss of a loved one or the lack of a support system. However much we think we could stand up on our own feet, sometimes we need someone to hold us and give us a little push. Sometimes you may pick up cues from which you could realise if one is sad or not and taking a little bit of effort to ‘put them back on track’ is a heroic act. 


Yukio Shige, a 70-year old retired police officer from Japan has saved over 500 lives to date. Japan has been ranked as a country with one of the highest rates of suicide and with individuals like Shige these rates could be lowered. As a practice, Shige patrols the Tojinbo cliffs on the Sea of Japan with three other volunteers, keeping a lookout for, and speaking to people contemplating ending their life.  Speaking to the Independent – UK Shige explains the pain he has gone through in dealing with suicide. “I have seen so much grief. I don’t wish to hear anymore mourning,” he said. With a pair of binoculars, Shige observes the nooks and crannies of Tojinbo in his daily search. 

 

Yukio Shige, a 70-year old retired police officer from Japan has saved over 500 lives to date. Japan has been ranked as a country with one of the highest rates of suicide and with individuals like Shige these rates could be lowered.

 


Shige was also featured on the documentary series 101 East on Al Jazeera, a weekly current affairs television programme that focuses on Asia, its diverse cultures and conflicting politics. In his documentary Shige relates the challenges he faces in tracking people who are depressed. The numerous suicides that have taken place at Tojinbo have made it a tourist destination today and the large numbers of tourists it attracts daily adds to the challenge. 


Speaking in the documentary Shige says that it is important to observe their emotions. “Sometimes, people who contemplate ending their lives keep staring at the sea,” Shige added. “They are lost in deep thought and some are engaged in conversations, that even if one eavesdrops, they wouldn’t notice. We take those who want our help to the six apartments we own so that they can repair and rebuild their lives. We help them get their lives back.”

 

We take those who want our help to the six apartments we own so that they can repair and rebuild their lives. We help them get their lives back

 


We all have various challenges to face in life and everyone will not have the equal amount of courage and support to face them.


If you observe some change in a person, if they prefer being isolated, have lost their appetite and show similar behaviours, always be by their side. If these behaviours continue over a period, refer them to a psychologist or a support group that will help to bring him or her out of the darkness. 


Several local organisations such as Sumithrayo are geared to help those in despair.


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