Private moneylenders are a major source of loans across the region, and with the collapse of banking in rural areas, their role has only grown.
The interim relief of Rs 10,000 for the monsoon sowing season that was announced by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis after the farm strike in June has only added “salt to wounds”.
In a Latur hamlet, Shalubai works eight hours daily to fill water; some spend less time, but pay three times the rate for water than Aurangabad breweries do.
An unregulated borewell economy thrives through the dry summers in Osmanabad district of Marathwada, with agents and rig owners cashing in on the desperation of farmers to find water at any depth, any cost.
In 45ºC heat, farmers are walking from market to market to sell their cattle but others are reluctant to buy, knowing it will be difficult to get rid of them later.
Every day, a half-complete well reminds Karbhari Jadhav of Ganori village in Aurangabad of his losses, all because he never received the approved funds for sinking the well.