Mumbai: First they were stripped of their utensils, furniture, mobile phones, televisions, ration cards and heirloom gold jewellery. Then, some of them drank pesticide. One woman threw herself in a pond. Another jumped into a well with her children.
Sometimes, the debt collectors watched nearby.
More than 200 poor, debt-ridden residents of Andhra Pradesh killed themselves in late 2010, according to media reports compiled by the government of the south Indian state. The state blamed microfinance companies which give small loans intended to lift up the very poor for fueling a frenzy of over indebtedness and then pressuring borrowers so relentlessly that some took their own lives.
The companies, including market leader SKS Microfinance, denied it....more
08:56 PM, Feb 24, 2012