MYSURU: Covid continues to claim lives, not just by infection, but also through lockdown-triggered unemployment, stigma and inability of families to bear the cost of treatment. In the latest incident, four members of a family hanged themselves at H Mookahalli in Chamarajanagar on Wednesday. It is suspected that the unemployment and poverty might have forced them to take the extreme step.Mahadevaswamy (55), a marginal farmer, his wife Mangalamma (40), daughters Geetha (15) and Sruthi (11) were found hanging at their house.
Mahadevaswamy tested positive on May 9 and was under home isolation. Other members of the family, though did not have symptoms, too were told to quarantine themselves by Asha workers.Mahadevaswamy, who owned 1.5 acres of dry land and a milching cow, could not go out to work since Covid struck or sell milk at the local dairy. He was normally paid Rs 250 per day and even that meagre income had stopped, pushing the family to the brink.
Even before Covid struck, Mahadevasamy had told the villagers that his family was living under a financially pathetic condition and he was finding it difficult to make ends meet. But never did he give a hint that he and his family would commit suicide.The villagers called him an honourable man and pointed out that he paid back all the hand loans he had taken from neighbours on Tuesday morning. He also spoke over phone to his eldest daughter, who is married off to a village near Nanjangud, in the evening.
On Wednesday morning, one of the villagers knocked on Mahadevaswamy’s door to call him for a day’s job and found the family hanging.Chamarajangar Rural police rushed to the spot and shifted the bodies for postmortem. The police said that they are conducting an investigation, and are looking at all angles, including ill-treatment of the family, if any, by other villagers.