Bangalore/Raichur: Raichur in North Karnataka battled floods three years ago, but the district is still reeling under a severe drought. It's as if the Gods are mocking the farmers of Raichur district. In 2009 the farmers' homes and crops were destroyed by flooding and now three years on, a severe drought has hit the farmers hard.
Gudusi Ramaiah a cotton farmer committed suicide in April this year by consuming pesticides. Ramiah was depending on his cotton crop to help him pay back a Rs 2 lakh loan, but with the rains failing, his crop was destroyed. His devastated family is now thinking of migrating to Hyderabad or Bangalore.
Anand Ramaiah, Gudusi Ramaiah's son said, "Our cotton crop failed because there has been no rain, its really difficult and we still have to pack back another 50,000 rupees as loan. How will we pay back? We have no options and I have a family to support also."
The drought has been so severe in Raichur that green gram sown in nearly 2500 hectares has failed and in the nearly 1,50,000 hectares where crops were sown, they failed in nearly 82,000 hectares.
And so families have no option but to move to cities. Distress sales like the one at this APMC yard in Raichur have become common and farmers are now selling their cattle so they can either migrate or buy food for their households.
Raichur farmer Hafizullah said, "First it was the floods and now the drought, how can we live and work here? That's why we are all leaving our villages."
But as farmers struggle, the state government and Delhi are fighting over the distribution of funds.
Agriculture Minister, Karnataka Umesh Katti said, "They have given assurance that within a week we will send a team and will release some money but up to now they have not sent a team also and have not released money also."
From floods to a drought, it's been a vicious cycle for the farmers of Raichur and with government relief funds hardly reaching them. The fear is that the worst is yet to come.