Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jajpur, Oct 24:
The deadly cocktail of debt and drought has again claimed a farmer, this time in the Jajpur district of Odisha.
Debendra Mohapatra of Khetrapal village under Dharmasala police station had consumed pesticide four days ago unable to take the burden of debt and crop loss.
He was admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack in a serious condition. But he could not be saved and was declared dead by the doctors today.
“My brother had taken loan from individual creditors, society as well as bank for farming. When he saw that the crops have been destroyed he committed suicide,” Debendra’s sister said.
People are holding a road roko in Chandikhol- Paradeep road demanding compensation. No officials have visited the village as yet.
The Odisha government has recently declared 123 blocks in 16 districts as facing drought-like situation.
The districts are Baleswar, Boudh, Jajpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Khurda, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nayagarh, Puri and Subarnapur, later Bolangir, Jharsuguda, Nuapada and Bargarh were added.
According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, the total number of suicides by people involved in farming/agriculture in India from 2000 to 2014 is 238,658.
The NCRB puts the number of farmers’ suicide deaths in 15 years in Chhattisgarh at 15,099, West Bengal 13,098, Gujarat, 8,309, Assam 3,908, Odisha 3,439, Jharkhand 1,197, Himachal Pradesh 669, Tripura 430 and Delhi 191.