This Article is From Jul 12, 2014

In KCR's Constituency, Hopeless Farmers are Taking a Drastic Way Out

Yellaiah, a resident of Gajwel in Medak district, took his own life after his crop failed

Gajwel, Medak: In Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's constituency - Gajwel in Medak district -- three farmers have killed themselves in the last three weeks after their crop failed due to the dry monsoon.

The delayed and parched monsoon has created unprecedented havoc, distress and hopelessness for farmers across the state.

The three farmers from Gajwel -- Yellaiah, Ravi and Muthyalu - had borrowed money to buy seeds and lease agricultural land after the first monsoon showers.

Muthyalu, a resident of Rayavaram village, could have been alive today if the gold loan and crop loan waiver promised by the Telangana government had come through in time.

The situation was so dire that his 24-year-old wife Kanaka had to pawn her mangalsutra for Rs. 45,000.

"There was a lot of debt this time and there was pressure to repay (the loan). He had been quite hopeful about the loan waiver. If that had been implemented in time, he would have regained some courage,'' she says.

Mallavva, the widow of Yellaiah, says her husband had taken 10 acres on lease to grow cotton. The family was already in considerable debt.

"Once you grow a cash crop like cotton, it is very difficult to get out of the cycle. Despite incurring losses in the last two to three years, Yellaiah once again took 10 acres on lease in addition to the two acres he already owned. He planted cotton, buying 20 packets for Rs 1,100 each," she says.

But there were no rains and the seedlings dried up.

Balamani, Yellaiah's 17-year-old daughter, says, "We have to stop farming. My father tried but despite working so hard, he failed. Now everyone is asking us to repay the money.''

In Kodakantla village, located a short distance away, lives Ravi's mother Yadamma. She believes  her son would have been alive today if he had continued working as a farm labourer instead of trying to become a farmer and running into major debt.

"He hoped to recover some money, not sink money, in agriculture. He couldn't do anything else, so he tried again and again,'' she says.

This could be the worst situation for farmers in several years, fear local officials.

M Ramulu, the local tehsildar, admits that this is the most alarming situation for farmers in years.

''Even if it rains now, there will be some chance of recovery. Otherwise, the government has to work out a contingency plan,'' he says.