Rights

A Farmer’s Last Letter: ‘The Government is Also Responsible For My Death’

In Madhya Pradesh, a farmer committed suicide when he could not repay loans after his crop failed and he did not receive the insurance that he was entitled to.

A farmer has committed suicide because he could not pay back loans once his crop insurance failed. Representational image. Credit: Reuters/Files

A farmer has committed suicide because he could not pay back loans once his crop insurance failed. Representational image. Credit: Reuters/Files

In Madhya Pradesh, a farmer reportedly committed suicide in Vidisha’s Ganjbasoda tehsil on January 31, when his crop insurance was not paid to him. A resident of Naughai village, the deceased farmer, Raju Singh Raghuvanshi had hoped to pay off his loans with the insurance money. But despite approaching the Central Bank of India several times and asking for help through the chief minister’s helpline, he received nothing.

Left without hope, he finally killed himself after writing a five-page suicide note which the police have recovered. A local newspaper, Nai Dunia, obtained the letter from the police. However, the authenticity of the letter is still being investigated, the newspaper said.

“My mother owns 15 bighas of land. In the year 2015-16, we took a loan to sow soya bean in it. Very early on after sowing, the crop was damaged. Then heavy rains destroyed the crops completely.

Because of it, the Kisaan Credit Card loan of Rs 2 lakh taken from the Central Bank was weighing on me. Then I had to take another loan of Rs 95,000 from four micro finance companies to support the family.

I was hopeful that once I get the insurance money, I will get rid of the loans. I made many rounds of the  Central Bank’s Ganjbasoda branch but I got only assurances. I even complained on the CM helpline on December 15 but even after a month there was no reply. On December 10, CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan had announced that all the farmers will get their insurance money. But it was a lie.

Today, I am committing suicide frustrated with the loans. I am responsible for the act. None of my family members should be harassed. The government is also responsible for my death.

Do not hide my suicide note. Print it and display it on social media so that the lies of the government are exposed. The state government announced that every farmer will get his crop insurance. It even promised to double the farmers’ income. But when will the income get doubled? Will the government fulfill its promises after 50 other farmers like me have committed suicide?”

According to Nai Dunia, the Central Bank of India’s Ganjbasoda branch had approved crop insurance for 360 farmers in 2015 and 2016, but only four farmers actually received the money. Bank manager Kewal Singh said that the Agriculture Insurance Company is yet to release an amount of Rs 73 lakh for 356 farmers.

However, Vidisha collector Anil Suchari has denied that the failed insurance payment is what led to Raghuvanshi’s suicide. He claimed that the farmer was stressed over the loan he had borrowed from micro finance companies.

Translated from Hindi by Naushin Rehman.

This article was originally published on The Wire Hindi. Read the original article here.