Farmer suicides were first reported in the 1990s and the first case to come out into light was from Maharashtra. And the saga continues even today.

Wardha, one of the districts in Maharashtra, has seen 40 farmer suicides in just 4 months.

What stands to be noted is that even as these farmers had been facing issues like drought, non-productivity, bank loans, etc., the reason for suicide was something else. Most of these farmers had fallen ill and had no money for their treatment. In fact, this is being seen as a new pattern emerging in relation to farmer suicides.

One such example that exists is that of Mahadev Bapurao Dhagge – a farmer from Gavha village that is about 40 kilometres from Wardha city. A couple of days ago, a frustrated Mahadev committed suicide by jumping into a well in his village. Mahadev was not only burdened by debt and troubled by drought and non-productivity, but was severely ill and had no money for his treatment. It is this frustration about being cornered from all sides that drove him to suicide. Mahadev is survived by his wife and two kids.

Mahadev Dhagge owned 4 acres of dry land where he had sown Cotton crop, but the entire produce was lost due to fungal infestation, leaving him with a mere 3 quintals of cotton produce. Mahadev then turned to his only remaining hope – the 2 acres of land he had bought under his son’s name. But the Soybean crop that he had sown here got wasted due to floods, as the land was right next to the riverbed.

Mahadev was undergoing treatment for his illness for the past two years, but this led to him being unable to return the bank loan and pushed him further into debt. Now, Mahadev had made personal savings of about Rs. 13000 in the same bank from where he had obtained a loan. But, with Mahadev unable to return the loan amount, the bank transferred this money into the loan recovery account. With no finance on him for any further medical treatment, he was in a fix as to how to manage this issue. And finding no solution to the increasing debt and health issues, he finally ended his life.

The police investigating the case found a suicide note written by Mahadev in which he had mentioned all these details.

This incident clearly explains one thing – Mahadev Dhagge was facing all obstacles head on and did not lose any hope at any point of time. But, in the end, his illness left him with no option but to commit suicide.

Farmers across the state are affected by drought, forcing them to take loans. But with the produce lost due to bad weather conditions, despite putting in sincere labour and finance, the farmers get into depression and choose to commit suicide – as the only way out of the tension facing them.

Dr Prakash Behere from Acharya Vinobha Bhave Medical College, in his observation, says that the stress of loans mounting on the farmer is one of the main reasons for depression that in the end, leads to suicidal tendencies.

On the same lines, the President of the Jan Andolan Samiti Avinash Kakade adds, “It is, therefore, the administration's immediate responsibility to look up the farmers' troubles on priority and provide them some relief. Only then will this vicious cycle, that the farmer is entangled in, break. Else, we shall continue to fight and demonstrate against the government.”

Bureau Report

Comments (1)

  • Guest (Sangeeta G)

    Many hospitals tht are run by charitable trusts come up only in cities but they can't set up hospitals in such places where people really need help. Charity is given to those who give more funds for the charity in return. The Govt., along with the rich are satisfied with the help tht small Samitis and groups provide thereby washing off their hands stating tht no matter how much relief these farmers get....they are not satisfied.....Humanity is lost completely....

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