Farmer Drank Pesticide, Son Quits School To Support Mother, Siblings

The responsibility of taking care of his family fell on Shiva Prasad's shoulder after his father, a chilli and cotton farmer, committed suicide.

Guntur, Andhra Pradesh: Shiva Prasad wants to go to school. At 14, that is where he should be. That is where he was, in Class VII, preparing for his annual examination like millions of children at this time of the year.

But ten days back, a second successive year of drought pushed his father over the edge.

Rama Rao, a farmer in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, couldn’t face his debtors or family; he had run into a Rs 2 lakh debt to grow chillies and cotton on the four-acre piece of land on lease. Rama Rao lost hope and drank down a bottle of pesticide after inspecting the crop and realising it could not bail him out.

Prasad lost his father, home and his childhood.

Rama Rao is survived by three children and a wife.

The 14-year-old has started working at a local construction site, helping build someone’s house that earns him just about 150 rupees daily that keeps his family – mother and two elder siblings – from starvation.

He doesn’t have a home of his own any longer. They were thrown out of their rented accommodation after his father died. The landlord figured they couldn’t afford to pay the rent.

Tradition does not allow his mother or 16-year-old elder brother from stepping out of home within days of the father’s death; the sister has to be with her mother, at this time of crisis, helping with religious rituals.

So when Prasad gets home from work, he chips in with his siblings to build a shelter with whatever the family can find: poles, sticks and sheets that no one wants. His aunt went to the forest to cut and get them some branches that have now been cut into wooden poles.

“I don’t know what to do. Even my youngest son has to go to work. I can’t run home so need to send him to work till we repay our loans,” Lakshmi told NDTV, between sobs.

Shiva Prasad hasn’t lost hope of going back to the school and studying.

Prasad’s siblings – brother Anjaneyulu and sister Thirupatamma, 18 – had already dropped out of school to work as labourers to supplement the family income last year.

It is a tragedy that has been repeated across Andhra Pradesh that faces the third successive year of drought. The National Crime Records Bureau figures say 916 suicides by people in the farm sector were recorded in the state – an average of five people every two days – through 2015, up from 632 the previous year.

Back in this Guntur village, Thirupatamma is also preparing to join her younger brother at work as soon as possible. “There is not a rupee in hand. Only if we work, we can eat something,” she said.

But Shiva Prasad hasn’t lost hope. That he will go back to school. “My mother said after we repay our loans, I can go back to school,” he told NDTV.

“I hope the government or someone helps us,” he say, hands folded across his chest, eyes sharply focused with a graveness and intensity that you don’t expect to see in a child that age.

To support the family, you can donate here:

ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

Disclaimer: This information has been provided / published on a good faith basis, without any commercial motive. NDTV does not vouch for the authenticity of the claims made by the intending donee, nor can we guarantee that the donations made by a donor will be used for the purpose as stated by the intending donee. You are requested to independently verify the contact information and other details before making a donation. NDTV and/or its employees will not be responsible for the same.

82 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Uma Sudhir
    Very nice article.
    Unfortunately none of the local media covered farmer suicide and agriculture distress.
    This shows ground situation is very different with the rosy picture claimed by AP government.
    Made some contribution but i hope the family have the knowledge of accessing the bank account.

  2. Please share the bank details and contact numbers (if possible). I am sure that I too can help a little. What gives me heart is that so many people want to help. There is still hope as long as we can feel the pain of others! Thank you friends.

    • To support the family, you can donate here:

      ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
      ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
      IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
      BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
      BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

    • thank you for your response

      To support the family, you can donate here:

      ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
      ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
      IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
      BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
      BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

    • To support the family, you can donate here:

      ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
      ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
      IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
      BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
      BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

  3. I can send some money to this child. Dear Team pls post the bank account number and the contact for this child.

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    • To support the family, you can donate here:

      ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
      ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
      IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
      BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
      BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

  5. Plz let me know d bank details..it will be very happy to contribute. Education has become a privilege ..

  6. Yes, i am also willing to contribute. Please provide details of this boy family, Bank ac and contact information.

  7. Please provide the contact details of the kid’s family so donors can help. Thank you for bringing the farmer suicides into light.

    • To support the family, you can donate here:

      ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
      ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
      IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
      BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
      BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

  8. Can you’ll put a count of all the children affected in this city/ area?
    Break them down by age and what standard the are in the school?
    We have an organization that can support their education while their parents are dealing with drought and employment issues. Let’s say we’ll cover them for 5 years.

    NDTV is doing a great job in creating awareness. We need more info for action

    • To support the family, you can donate here:

      ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
      ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
      IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
      BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
      BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

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    • To support the family, you can donate here:

      ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
      ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
      IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
      BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
      BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

    • To support the family, you can donate here:

      ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
      ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
      IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
      BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
      BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

    • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

      Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
      Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
      s/b a/c number 050310100301748
      IFSC ANDB0000503

    • To support the family, you can donate here:

      ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
      ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
      IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
      BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
      BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

    • To support the family, you can donate here:

      ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
      ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
      IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
      BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
      BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

  11. I’m also willing to contribute, I’m taken aback with the plight of farmers, it would be great support from media if such stories and contribution links are portrayed equally just like other national disasters or life losses.

    • To support the family, you can donate here:

      ACCOUNT NAME: Javvaji Lakshmi (Mother of Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu and Thirupatamma)
      ACCOUNT NO: 050310100301748
      IFSC CODE: ANDB0000503
      BANK NAME: Andhra Bank
      BRANCH: Sattenapalle, Guntur

    • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

      Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
      Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
      s/b a/c number 050310100301748
      IFSC ANDB0000503

    • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

      Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
      Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
      s/b a/c number 050310100301748
      IFSC ANDB0000503

    • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

      Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
      Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
      s/b a/c number 050310100301748
      IFSC ANDB0000503

    • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

      Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
      Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
      s/b a/c number 050310100301748
      IFSC ANDB0000503

  12. My heart pains for poor people, please provide his bank details…may almighty makes our country such strong that nobody sleeps hungry

    • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

      Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
      Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
      s/b a/c number 050310100301748
      IFSC ANDB0000503

    • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

      Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
      Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
      s/b a/c number 050310100301748
      IFSC ANDB0000503

    • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

      Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
      Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
      s/b a/c number 050310100301748
      IFSC ANDB0000503

  13. Can you please get me touch with them . We are willing to help the family and the kids. We can arrange for all the money and pay the debt right away.

    • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

      Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
      Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
      s/b a/c number 050310100301748
      IFSC ANDB0000503

    • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

      Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
      Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
      s/b a/c number 050310100301748
      IFSC ANDB0000503

  14. Hi I am willing to contribute. Can you please update his contact details. Infact I am willing to support him over his entire education.

    • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

      Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
      Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
      s/b a/c number 050310100301748
      IFSC ANDB0000503

      • Hello, Can you open a page on Gofundme for NRI’S
        it will be huge help for family when contributions come
        From all around the world, Rather is there anyway Someone can open a website or app where farmers can request the money they need before commiting suicide& we all had to collect afterwards when one life is lost
        We should be proactive in realizing how bad& poor the situation is of our farmers.

    • Sir, God Bless You For Your human heart you have. I will also contribute some money and request others to come forward.
      Please provide the account details for this kid.

      • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

        Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
        Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
        s/b a/c number 050310100301748
        IFSC ANDB0000503

      • Thanks for your response. The family just opened an account in the name of the mother and shared the account details…

        Name: Javvaji Lakshmi (mother of Venkata Sivaprasad, Anjaneyulu & Thirupatamma)
        Andhra Bank, Sattenapalle, Guntur
        s/b a/c number 050310100301748
        IFSC ANDB0000503

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