Bundelkhand: With the alarming drought-like situation across the country, farmer suicide cases in Uttar Pradesh's Bundelkhand continue to mount. Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has sounded the warning and asked states to take effective measures to tackle the crisis.
Kamta, a farmer from Bundelkhand took a loan of Rs one lakh from two banks. Rains deceived him and he failed to pay back the loan. The specter of a legal battle was too much for him to handle. Kamta committed suicide by consuming pesticide.
No rain and all pain is the story that is told all across this parched land where 80 per cent are farmers. Over 90 per cent of these farmers are debt ridden.
Sonali's father Devi Lal was one of them. He too committed suicide. Little Sonali doesn't know why her father died, but knows what she'll do when she grows up: Save lives.
Khemchand family is in dire straits. He ran up a debt of Rs 2, 64000 to buy seeds, ploughing material and fertilizers for the field. In April this year Khemchand hanged to death in his house, leaving behind his 2 children and ageing parents to fend for them.
In Bundelkhand, a human tragedy is unfolding on a mammoth proportion with Rs 4500 crore of outstanding debt. Helpless farmers are succumbing to the pressure. The administration is adding to their woes. The apathy of the Akhilesh Yadav government has snuffed out their last hope.
Over a thousand suicides in the last two and half years did bring in money and attention to Bundelkhand. Rs 7000 crore package from the central government is not showing much result. Politicians have been farming benefits for them but for farmers who commit suicide to terminate the cycle of debt; even death does not end their trauma. It's just gets transferred to the next generation.
The entire country, except coastal regions, has received deficit rainfall so far. While rainfall in Punjab and Haryana is 65 per cent below average, 10 out of 30 districts in Odisha are affected.