Unable to Bear Losses, 2 More Farmers Commit Suicide in Madhya Pradesh

Farmer Anil Kumavat

Dewas: Three-year-old Kashish and her younger brother will never get to see their father again, a farmer in Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh. Anil Kumavat committed suicide after his crops were damaged due to erratic rain.

In Sagar district, about 350 km from Dewas, another family is in mourning. 35-year-old Bhaiya Raju Adivasi drank pesticide after rain deficit destroyed his soyabean crop on his two and a half acres.

In the last fortnight, two farmers have committed suicide in Dewas and Sagar district, unable to cope with their losses.

The rainfall pattern in the state has been quite erratic this monsoon season, which has either destroyed soyabean crop or has led to a very low yield.

In Barkhedi Maan village,  Anil Kumavat had sown tomato and soyabean crop this year but because of initial dry spell followed by a heavy rain during the flowering period of crop the yield came down to 10 per cent. As losses mounted, the loan of six lakh seemed impossible to repay.

Badrilal Kumavat, father of Anil said: "Last year we sold four bighas of land to repay our debts and this year soyabean and tomato crop failed. So my son took this extreme step."

At least 22 farmer suicides have been reported this year in Madhya Pradesh but the government says it's not due to crop failure.

State Agriculture Minister Gauri Shankar Bisen said, "70 per cent of people live in villages in Madhya Pradesh and are farmers. There are other reasons for suicide, but we are with farmers. In 2013 we gave Rs 2,200 crore as compensation to the farmers, which is the highest in the country."

But farmers say the government's claims are not true.

"I have suffered a loss of Rs 20,000 this year. Government help does not reach us, even if compensation is allocated to the district only a few farmers, who have an understanding with the administration, receive it," said farmer Darbar Singh.
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