QUEEN’S ROAD:Just six years ago, Siddaraddy Devendrappa Yedramahalli, a farmer from Koppal in northern Karnataka, was receiving an honour from the state government for an innovation in maize growing. Today, with heavy rain ruining his banana crops, he is battling thoughts of suicide.
Siddaraddy grew 112.7 quintals of maize on a hectare at Hyati in the arid district of Koppal, bringing the Agriculture Department to confer an award on him in 2009. The Pragati Grameen Bank had honoured him in 2008 for growing 102 quintals of maize on just two acres.
Today, this 49-year-old farmer is groaning under a loan of Rs 4 lakh, taken from a public sector bank in his hometown. He is pleading with people to bail him out. Siddaraddy had borrowed the money to buy a pump and farming equipment.
Earlier this week, he was at the Press Club in Bengaluru, asking if anyone could help him out. “I am trying my best to get an audience with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah,” he told City Express.
His meeting with former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda has brought him a glimmer of hope. “He gave me Rs 10,000 as his contribution,” he said.
“The bank is not putting any pressure on me yet. But I have no idea know how I will ever repay my debts as my crops are completely ruined,” he explained.
A father of three-two sons and a daughter-he has married off his daughter, and is relieved to have done so, even if it meant he had to borrow Rs 3 lakh.
(Siddaraddy Yedramahalli can be reached on 99455 49869)