(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 09, 2011
Most of the villages in the affected regions have witnessed deaths of affected farmers – either by suicide or by heart attack. With government coming out with a pittance of relief, the small farmers who borrowed at high interest rates to till the land taken on tenancy, saw no way out except taking their own lives. Others were so shocked at the loss that got heart attacks.
Below are brief accounts of some of those who perished due to the insensitivity of the rulers and their anti-agricultural policies.
This young 27 year old small farmer hailed from Takkellapadu village in Dachepally mandal of Guntur district. With an enterprising spirit, this small farmer took on lease 5 acres of land and sowed chilli and cotton in 2 acres each while in the remaining one acre he cultivated paddy. He owned only 50 cents of land. He raised Rs 1 lakh as loan from private moneylenders. He had to pay Rs 50,000 as tenancy amount to the landowner. But Subbaiah's entire crop was devastated in the December rains. With the money lenders at this door to repay the amount, this young farmer found no way to pay back the amount. Even the meagre releif provided by the government would reach him only if the landowner is benevolent as there is no record of his tenancy. In this background, Subbaiah hanged himself to death in his hut on December 24.
This 35 year old farmer in Kollipara village in Guntur district committed suicide by consuming pesticide. He took on lease 2.5 acres of land in the village and cultivated paddy. He took Rs 16,000 as loan from a local cooperative bank and another Rs 10,000 from local self help group. He further raised an amount of Rs 20,000 from friends and relatives. There was an outstanding of Rs 17,000 to be paid to local fertiliser shop. On top of this, he had to pay 55 bags of paddy as tenancy (at the rate of 22 bags per acre). In this background, he naturally had high hopes on the crop he was so assiduously cultivating. Electing an auspicious day in the first week of December, he harvested the crop and was contemplating transporting the same when the untimely rains damaged his entire harvest. Owing money to so many sources, apart from the payment in kind to the landowner, this hard working farmer decided to consume pesticide as a way out of the debt trap.
Belonging to Metlagudem village in Karepally mandal of Khammam district, this 48 year old medium farmer made a loan of Rs 1.20 lakh from private moneylenders to cultivate cotton, pulses and paddy in his seven acres of land. He already had a debt of Rs 1.80 lakh. With his entire crop damaged in the rains, and seeing no hope from the government, this farmer also committed suicide by consuming pesticide on December 16.
This 40 year old peasant in Lolla village in Rayavaram mandal of East Godavari district took 2.5 acres of land on lease and cultivated paddy. He invested Rs 30,000 raised as loans from private moneylenders. He already owed Rs 1 lakh raised for marriage of his daughter. He hoped that with the harvest he could repay at least part of the money. But the entire crop was damaged. He hanged himself to death on December 18.