Telangana Drought’s Latest Horror: 75 Farmers Dead In 5 Weeks

Unable to withstand the battering of drought for three consecutive years, 75 farmers have killed themselves in Telangana. Sattaiah is one of them.

Telangana: In the month of August, absolutely nothing seemed to be going right for Burugula Satyam Rao, called “Sattaiah” by friends. The monsoon didn’t deliver and for the third year in a row, the maize and cotton he had planted on his small farm in Telangana were dead- the maize was stunted, the cotton saplings wilted away.

Debt for the 42-year-old farmer had crossed five lakhs. But what broke Sattaiah’s heart and spirit was that his son, Raja Shekar, was not allowed to give his exam because the family couldn’t pay his school fee.

“I told my daddy that the school is asking to pay fees. He said he would come to school that day. I went to school, there was an exam, but the principal did not permit me to write the exam,” said Raja Shekar.

The 16-year-old phoned his father for help. Sattaiah met the principal and was told that he must pay up by the next day. Two hours later,  he killed himself by drinking pesticide.

Sattaiah is survived by his wife and son.
Sattaiah is survived by his wife and son.

In the last five weeks alone, 75 farmers have killed themselves in Telangana, unable to withstand the battering of drought for three consecutive years. Sattaiah is among them.

Raja Shekar’s mother Padma told NDTV that just a month earlier, Sattaiah was optimistic about the monsoon’s potential, and met his son’s teachers to urge them to work hard on his education. He told them he would pay the entire year’s fee at one go after the crop was harvested.

Hours before he died, he visited his farm, and returned home in tears, said Padma, who later discovered his body. “He used to say that we have only one son, whatever hardship we have to go through, we need to get him educated. But the crop failed,” she said.

Sattaiah was so determined that his son be spared the vagaries of weather that a farmer is subjected to that he put him in a private English-medium school that cost Rs 22,000 a year. The school bus cost an additional Rs 6,000. Raja Shekar, his father imagined, would be an engineer someday.

His family is entitled to Rs 6 lakh as compensation for his death but first it must go through a lengthy and cumbersome verification process by a 3-member committee of government officials who will decide whether Sattaiah’s was a “genuine” suicide triggered by farm distress and agricultural loans.

So far, there has been no enquiry. The son has not returned to school. His widow must deal, not only with her tremendous loss, but also with the debt that has crushed the life out of her family.

telangana
The government officials are yet to determine the genuineness of Sattaiah’s suicide in order to process the compensation.

If you would like to help the family of Burugula Satyam Rao (Sattaiah), here are the bank details of his wife:

Name: Burugula Padma
Account Number: 066110100092503
Andhra Bank
Kondapaka branch, Medak District
IFSC Code: ANDB0000661

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.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I tried to verify the authenticity of this but no luck. I was looking for a contact number as well. I reached out to some reliable resources in that village but no luck.

  2. Rain is not in the hands of the govt and if previous govts have completed good irrigation projects, then there would have been enough water. The farmers are looking at rain for forming is the sign that the successive govts have failed them, The 2 year old TRS govt has started a project where the villages level lakes are cleared of debris and sand, A good rain season will fill the lakes and also increase the ground water level. The govt is doing right thing by not rushing to help the farmers who did suicide. If there is an indication that govt will come to their aid, then there will be more suicides. There should be no sympathy to people who do not face the problems and make suicides and create more problems for their families.

  3. IFSC Code is coming different : ANDB0001405 when trying to remit to them could ndtv please confirm which one is correct as i want to help

  4. What a shame for Harish Rao, KCR, Kavitha and entire TRS party…..and all other Political parties and in general people of Triangles….

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