Hyderabad: Last month, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) announced that his administration will give a sum of Rs 3 lakh to the families of 750 farmers who died in protests against the three farm laws.
The chief minister’s great gesture was generally interpreted as a hint of his creating a national political image ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
KCR in his own state failed to compensate the families of tens of thousands of farmers who died by suicide. With no other option, bereaved family members, particularly women, have been forced to take to the streets to seek the promised compensation.
Padmaamma’s husband, a farmer according to an NDTV report, died by suicide in 2018 due to a soul-crushing 6 lakh debt from compounded agricultural debts. Their 24-year-old son inherited the debts, and he, too, died by suicide while trying to pay the debt off.
“How should I pay off a debt of Rs. 6 lakh? My grown son and husband both passed away. What should I do to stay alive? I’ve visited various places… they tell me to “go here, go there,” and then tell me there is no budget,” she sobbed.
7,000 people have died by suicide in Telangana in the last seven years, according to Ryuthu Swarajya Vedika, a grassroots organisation that works with farmers in Telangana state.