The Farmer Suicide Clock is ticking fast in the state and there seems no end to the farm woes. This is a quick update to inform you that reports have come in with the shocking news of another farmer ending his life in the state.
It is reported that 55 year old farmer Ankur Mahalick from Mandari village of Bhadrak’s Basudevpur block, allegedly committed suicide over loan burden. He consumed pesticide on Sunday (6th Nov) morning.
Late Ankur’s wife Rama has said that he had faced crop loss in the Kharif season due to lack of adequate rainfall and was under pressure to repay loans. He had borrowed 10,000 rupees from neighbours and another 10,000 rupees from a SHG. His crops failed and he was under severe mental pressure for the last one week. Finally, he had to succumb to the pressure and consumed the killer pesticide.
We are sure the local officials will try to cover up this incidence and give reports to justify that this is not a suicide due to crop loss. Some funny reasons will be cooked as they are done in almost all the farmer suicide cases. It is therefore a request to local groups and media in Bhadrak to bring out the details of this case and build up adequate pressure for appropriate compensation to late Ankur’s family. Also, immediate steps should be taken up in the locality to see that other farmers do not take to this path. Ranjan Panda
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha
P.S. Farmer Suicide Clock is an initiative of the WIO as part of the Drought Updates. It will be a regular feature in our upcoming Drought Updates.