Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao last month said his government would give Rs 3 lakh to the families of each of the 750 farmers who died during protests against the (now scrapped) farm laws.
The grand gesture by KCR, as the Chief Minister is known, was widely seen as an indication of his building a national political profile ahead of Lok Sabha polls in 2024.
However, in his own state, the families of thousands of farmers who died by suicide remain without compensation. With no help in sight, they have been forced to take to the streets. This was three months after NDTV showed that even those whose payments were sanctioned had not been paid.
Budget constraints were cited by officials but minister KT Rama Rao had promised to expedite payments.
For hundreds of widows pleading for compensation due to them, little has changed since then.
"I have done the round of revenue officials but they said 'we cannot help you since the land is not in his name'. The family will not get compensation or insurance," Manjula told NDTV.
As she spoke, her three-year-old son, Pranay, sat on her lap holding his dad's photo and occasionally planting a kiss on it. It was his birthday.
Padmaamma's husband killed himself in 2018 because of a soul-crushing Rs 6 lakh debt from accumulated agricultural loans. Their 24-year-old son inherited those debts and he too, struggling to clear them, killed himself.
Padmaamma still got no help.
"How should I repay Rs 6 lakh debt? My grown-up son died and my husband died. How should I survive? I have done several rounds of offices... they say 'go here, go there' and finally say there is no budget," she cried.
Ryuthu Swarajya Vedika, a grassroots organisation working with farmers in the state has listed 7,000 who died by suicide in Telangana over the past seven years.
Only 1,600 families have been compensated. The total amount disbursed is just Rs 6 lakh.
"Here... despite an order that mandates support (for the families), the government has stopped doing anything from 2018. Even earlier, in thousands of cases, the government used every excuse to reject claims... in hundreds, where it accepted the deaths as valid, it has not paid 5 lakh even after four years," farmers' activist Kavitha Kuruganti said.
The public hearing demanded immediate payment to 250 families that have been recognised by a government-appointed committee as 'genuine famer suicide'.
They also said tenant farmers must be recognised as farmers as they face the most acute distress and hardship. Also that women must be recognised as farmers and cultivators too.
Last month KCR slammed the Centre, calling it "anti-farmer, anti-poor, anti-middleclass" and attacking it for refusing to buy parboiled rice from Telangana farmers. He also demanded the centre must pay Rs 25 lakh as compensation to each of the families of the 750 farmers who died during the farm laws agitation.