Fact Finding Report on Farmers’ Suicides in East & West Godavari Districts, AP

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) and RythuSwarajyaVedika (RSV) demand that the AP government initiate steps for immediate and proper implementation of G.O.Ms.No. 43 which provides for a financial and rehabilitation package to the family members of those farmers who have committed suicide. Over the past three days (March 23, 24 & 25) HRF and RSV teams visited 18 families of farmers who have committed suicide spread over four revenue divisions of West and East Godavari districts so as to ascertain facts. We have no hesitation in stating that all of the families of the deceased farmers are eligible for the financial assistance package of Rs seven lakhs evolved as support under G.O 43. In all these cases it can clearly be established that there was correlation between farm-related operations and economic distress eventually leading to suicide. However, they have not received any assistance from the government so far.

We were shocked to learn that the RDO-headed three-member verification and certification committee had not visited even a single of these 18 villages as is mandated under G.O 43. In many of these cases, even the mandal-level committee, with MRO as chairman, has not gone to the villages and spoken with family members. These families have literally been abandoned by the government.

All 18 were tenant farmers who ended their lives because of the appalling state of institutional credit leading to excessive reliance on private money lenders resulting in high indebtedness. These farmers also lacked access to reliable and reasonably priced inputs and a remunerative price for their output. Successive governments have failed in their obligations on all these fronts thereby rendering farmers helpless.They ended their lives, either by consuming pesticide or hanging, after being driven to utter despair being unable to repay these loans which they had taken at high interest rates from private lenders. All these deaths date from June 2019 onwards and as such they fall within the purview of G.O. 43.

Had the government taken seriously the issue of implementation of G.O 43 and coming to the aid of families, it should have ensured that the three-member committees visit the families in a time-bound manner as is envisaged under G.O 43. Had they done that, it can easily be established that the farmers committed suicide because of ‘agrarian reasons’. It can be ascertained with certainty that they took their own lives because of losses in farm related operations leading to an ever-spiralling cycle of indebtedness and consequently intense distress. What is of extreme disquiet is that not a single of these 18 farmers were issued the Crop Cultivator Rights Card (CCRC).In each of these cases, proof of tenancy could have been easily established had the administration been serious at all.

          Families of these farmers are in a state of acute deprivation with all of them being under regular and persistent pressure from money-lenders to pay up. It must be remembered that for every farmer who has committed suicide, there are many others facing extreme despair. In fact, the total number of suicides of farmers in the Godavari districts is a staggering 82 since June 2019 (46 in East Godavari and 41 in West Godavari). Only 7 families have been extended ex-gratia in East Godavari and 20 in West Godavari. Administrative negligence on this scale defeats the very purpose of G.O. 43 and in a sense multiplies their tragedy.

We call upon the State government to stop underplaying the extent of the crisis and to initiate concrete measures to alleviate the situation. As a first step, it must ensure that all cases of reported farmers’ suicides are enquired into at the earliest and justice done to the families.

HRF and RSV also urge the government to amend G.O. 43 and insert a provision of one-time loan settlement in the financial package so as to mitigate the debt burden of the families. This will help in some measure in ensuring that they are not harassed by those they had borrowed money from.

Details of farmers families we visited:

East Godavari district

Ramachandrapuram division:

1. GuthulaVenkatarao (58), Alamuru (village and mandal), date of death 24-11-2021

2. GubbalaVenkateswara Rao (53), Nelaturu (v), Kapileswarapuram (m), 15-2-2021

3. Vasamsetti Siva Sankar (37), Peketipakalu (v), Mandapeta (m), 4-8-2020

4. Pilla Ramakrishna (48), Palathodu (v), Mandapeta (m), 3-11-2021

5. DwarampudiNarsireddy (58), Anaparthi (v&m), 19-12-2019

Rajahmundry division:

6. Muthyam Srinu (40), MR Palem (v), Kadiyam (m), 3-10-2019

7. PachimallaSankaram (42), Pottilanka (v), Kadiyam (m), 4-3-2020

8. Munganda Bobby (47), Batnavilli (v) Amalapuram (m), 17-10-2021

9. Kasi Srinu (35), Sannavilli (v), Uppalaguptham (m), 6-1-2022

10. Seelam Durga Rao (43), Thotlapalem (hamlet of Marlapalem), Mummidivaram (m), 17-12-2019

11. BaduguVenkateswara Rao (58), Chintalacheruvu (hamlet of Pallamkurru), Katrenikona (m), 30-8-2019

West Godavari district

Eluru division:


12. DasariRajarao @ Shalemraju (28), Katamareddypalli (v), 17-3-2020

13. SrikakolluBaburao (35), Mattamgudem (v), 31-10-2021

14. Yerra Rambabu (42), Assannagudem (v), 29-5-2020


15. Nakka Vamsi (23), Allipalli (v), 2-1-2020 

16. BhukyaVenkateswararao (24), Namavaram (v), 26-11-2021

17. Koduri Srinu (40), Errampalli (v), 8-2-2021

18. DeyyamNagaraju (35), Malkapuram (v), Elurumandal, 17-8-2019

HRF and RSV functionaries who participated in the three-day fact-finding:

1. B Kondal – RSV State committee member

2. A Ravi – HRF State vice-president

3. Y Rajesh – HRF State secretary

4. NN Srinivasa Rao – HRF Publications editor

5. K Anuradha, M Srinivasa Rao and G Rohith – HRF State executive committee members

6. VS Krishna – HRF AP&TS Coordination Committee member



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