Debt-Ridden Dalit Farmer Ends Life: Suicide Epidemic Highlights Agricultural Crisis in Uttar Pradesh

The deceased wife revealed that he had borrowed Rs 1.5 lakh from a moneylender and had been distressed over his inability to repay the loan and mounting debts in recent weeks.
Representational Image
Representational Image

Lucknow: Debt remains a leading cause of farmer suicides across India, as highlighted by the recent tragedy in Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah district. Vikas Jatav (30), a resident of Chouviya village, reportedly took his own life by hanging from a tree in his field late on June 13 night.

According to Chouviya Police Station SHO Mansoor Ahmad, the deceased had gone to sow rice in his fields the previous evening and did not return home. His body was discovered hanging from a tree the following morning by local residents, who promptly notified authorities.

Vikas’s wife Rita Devi revealed that he had borrowed Rs 1.5 lakh from a moneylender and had been distressed over his inability to repay the loan and mounting debts in recent weeks.

The annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2022 underscores the severity of farmer suicides in India, reporting an alarming rate of 154 suicides per day among farmers and agricultural laborers. This figure marks an increase from 144 daily suicides reported in 2021.

Maharashtra recorded the highest number of farmer suicides, followed by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. In 2021, a total of 10,881 individuals associated with the agriculture sector, including 5,318 farmers/cultivators and 5,563 agricultural laborers, tragically took their own lives.

The report also highlighted a significant disparity in suicide rates between male farmers (4,999) and female farmers (208).

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