Wednesday, December 20, 2006

After farmers, now their family members committing suicide in vidarbha-ANI reports on Vidarbha Agrarian Crisis

After farmers, now their family members committing suicide in vidarbha

Kapustalani (Maharashtra), Dec 20 (ANI): After despaired debt-ridden farmers in Maharashtra committed suicide, it's now their family members who are taking the extreme step due to their inability to cope up with family financial problems.

A pall of gloom descended on the family of Ramesh Mesharam, a farmer in Kapustalani village in Amravati district of the state, on Wednesday after his 18-year-old daughter committed suicide.

Mesharam said his daughter Rajeshwari could not stand the harassment by the bank people for repayment of a loan, which they were unable to pay and so she hanged herself.

Her mother, grieved at the loss, said Rajeshwari was worried about her hapless father, who could not arrange finances for her marriage.

"She would often say to her father that he should not bother about arrangement for her wedding. Yet, a lot of proposals would come and persist that we consider a match. The girl kept on worrying that her father had made severe losses in the crop and there was a huge loan outstanding. She just succumbed to all these worries and committed this (suicide)" said Wacchala Mesharam, Rajeshwari's mother.

"After eating food at 12 in the night, I went out and then I don't know what happened to her, she hanged herself," said the deceased's father.Thousands of farmers have killed themselves over the past five years after being unable to repay loans and huge interest payments on them. Many of the suicides have taken place in Vidarbha.

Debt-ridden cotton farmers in Amravati in the Vidarbha region had last week climbed tanks across the district, demanding their debts be waived off.

Many farmers borrow money from the village moneylender at interest rates as high as 10 percent a month. Their debts soar when crops fail or prices tumble.

Worried about the spate of suicides among debt-ridden farmers, the Central Government in September approved a 170 billion-rupee package of financial relief for four-badly affected states, including Maharashtra. But it has not helped ameliorate the situation and farmers continue to kill themselves. (ANI)

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