CUDDALORE: For better part of Samba season, he pinned his hopes on rains and Cauvery water. But the heavens opened up only when 67-year-old Ganesan was set to harvest a portion of crops, salvaged by dint of his back-breaking toil.
By the time he reached the market committee with half the expected yield, he was crestfallen. Drought, followed by unseasonal rains, had broken him. He died in sleep, embracing his yield, at the Vriddhachalam Regulated Market Committee on Tuesday morning.
Ganesan (67), of Marungur, was distressed over seeing the crops he had salvaged from the drought laid waste by rains. He had landed at the regulated market committee with 30 sacks of grains on Sunday night. For two days, Ganesan waited for prospective customers. His nights were spent at the market, sleeping on the sacks, his family said.
On Tuesday, when other farmers tried to wake Ganesan up, there was no response. He was taken to the Vriddhachalam GH, where he was declared dead on arrival. Dhamodharan, Ganesan’s son, said, “We had cultivated paddy on two acres. Despite the drought, we managed to raise the crop using borewell water. All hopes of a decent yield were dashed in the downpour. Half of our crop was lost.”
“My father was upset over the crop loss. He was not the only person distressed. Other farmers in our village too have the same tale to tell. What we salvaged too is not going to fetch fair price as the paddy was soaked in water by the rains,” he added.
Shedding light on the plight of the farmers in Vriddhachalam, Karmangudi Venkatesan, a farmers’ leader, said, “The farmers used borewell water after the drought dried up channels. They spent a fortune on fertilizers and other implements. However, rains at the 11th hour spoiled their entire hopes. Harvesters could not even enter the farms due to inundation. The paddy got soaked in water.”
What with the drought, unseasonal rains and crop loss, farmers already reeling under debts are worried that even the salvaged crops would not fetch them a penny.