Farmer suicides: Widows pour their hearts out at Hyderabad public hearing

From clearing debts over which their husbands died to working two jobs, aggrieved women show their resilience

Published: 17th December 2021 09:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2021 09:37 AM   |  A+A-

Women at the hearing hold up photos of their deceased kin

Women at the hearing hold up photos of their deceased kin (Photo | Express, S Senbagapandiyan)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: With heavy hearts, people listened to women who narrated their stories of crop loss and mounting debts which consumed the lives of their husbands at the public hearing on ‘farmers’ suicides’ organised by Rythu Swarajya Vedika at Dharna Chowk on Thursday, which was heard by a jury comprising civil society activists. 

S Padmamma, from Parigi mandal of Vikarabad district, lost her husband S Bandaiah in 2018, as the family suffered losses after cultivating cotton. Even the buffaloes they had bought for Rs 2.5 lakh had to be sold for just Rs 40,000. Her son Naresh tried his best to repay the debt through farming, but the situation was so hopeless that he, too, took his own life in 2020. Though compensation was assured to Padmamma, she has not yet received the funds. There are also cases of single women battling against all odds to clear their family’s debt.

D Mounika, 27, from Inavolu mandal of Warangal district, lost her husband Yuvaraju in 2017. Four acres of their share of land was registered in Yuvaraju’s parents’ name, who claimed compensation from the Rythu Bandhu scheme. On being pressurised by moneylenders, Mounika mortgaged her house with a bank and cleared a debt of Rs 5 lakh. However, as she still owes the bank much more, she now works both as a farmer and in a nearby petrol pump to pay the remaining loan. When she goes to mandal offices to register for pension, they ask for a bribe, she tells Express. She has a daughter in Class IV and a son in lower KG.
Since the introduction of Rythu Bhima insurance scheme in 2018, the State government has discontinued compensating the kin of victims of farmers who die by suicide, as per GO 194.

K Kavitha, one of the jurors, who is also a part of Samyukt Kisan Morcha, has passed the order for the government to implement GO 194 and to follow GO 9 issued by the Maharashtra government in 2019, where steps were taken by the Revenue Department to go to villages, register the lands in the names of the suicide victims’ legal heirs, compensate them and to ensure women were made owners of those lands.
Around 7,500 farmers have reportedly killed themselves since 2014 in Telangana.


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