Loans – Crop relief wasn’t enough to repay loans, say farmer’s kin- The New Indian Express
NAGAPATTINAM: “Mama was very distressed for the last few days. He had been grieving that crops were submerged in water. I told that everyone in the village faced a similar situation, but it was too much for him to take it up that he took the extreme step,” lamented Ramesh Babu’s wife Amutha. Crop loss and burden of debts claimed the life of the 58-year-old farmer from Mohanambalpuram village on Saturday. His younger son Harish Krishna (17) was at school when he had heard about the bad news. “We did not know that he would take an extreme step. We were informed by the railway police that he was lying dead near the tracks,” said P Aravinth (24), the elder son.
Ramesh Babu and his two brothers Rajendran and Kannan had been cultivating around ten hectares in and around Mohanambalpuram village in Vadakku Panaiyur panchayat, as confirmed by the revenue officials. Ramesh Babu was cultivating about a hectare after giving another hectare for lease. “My brother and I had separately received relief for crop losses due to cyclone Burevi. He had taken a loan from a nationalised bank and Primary Agricultural Cooperative Society about a couple of lakhs. The relief was not enough to repay the loans. He became increasingly anguished after the surviving crops became lodged,” said R Rajendran (62), Ramesh Babu’s elder brother.
Around 20 farmers held a silent rally with Ramesh’s body from government hospital to his house on Sunday afternoon. ‘Cauvery’ V Dhanabalan, President of Cauvery Farmers’ Protection Association said, “Farmers are extremely grieved by crop losses. One such was Ramesh Babu who could not digest the loss. We demand a solatium of `20 lakhs for his family members and government job for one of them.”
If you are in distress or have suicidal thoughts, you can call the Tamil Nadu government’s health helpline at 104 or the Sneha suicide prevention helpline at 044 24640050/24640060