Three farmers, including a debt-ridden cotton grower and his young son killed themselves in Vidarbha in the past 24 hours.
According to reports on Wednesday, Kashiram Madhulka, a 55-year old farmer from Selu under Arni tahsil in Yavatmal district, and his 20-year old son, Anil hung themselves from the same tree on Tuesday afternoon.The incident came to light when villagers spotted their bodies around 5.00pm.
Kashiram had six acres of land. However, his crops had failed during the past three farming seasons. He borrowed loans worth Rs1 lakh from a cooperative bank and private money lenders this year. However, he incurred heavy losses as his crops were washed away by the recent torrential rains. He did not have the money to sow another batch. He was also unable to provide medical treatment to his ailing son.
Villagers said the two left for their farm on Tuesday morning.
In another incident, a 35-year old farmer from Harankhuri village in Wardha district committed suicide on Tuesday evening. Vasant Gangadhar Uike swallowed pesticide due to his crippling debt. He had 10 acres of land, however, his crops were washed away by the incessant rain last month and he could not raise the funds to sow his field again.
The deaths of these farmers have taken the toll to 21 this month. The number of farmer suicides last month was 52. As many as 199 farmers ended their lives because of the agrarian crisis in Vidarbha.
Former Shetkari Sanghatana leader, Vijay Jawandhia said most of the farmers that killed themselves had defaulted on bank loans. He added that they took this step when banks refused to lend them more money.
“Farmers in Vidarbha have been severely hit by the recent heavy rain. Cops sown by several farmers were washed away and they have no money for fresh sowing,” he said. He added that the farmers’ distress has hit its peak .