Suicides of Farmers: Call To Implement G.O. 43 Properly

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) and Rythu Swarajya Vedika (RSV) demand that the AP State government give financial aid to families of farmers who have committed suicide and to extend them financial rehabilitation as envisaged under G.O No. 43 without further delay.

A three-member HRF and RSV fact-finding team visited eight families of farmers who had taken their own lives in Tirupati and Chittoor districts on August 1 to determine reasons for the suicides and the government’s response thereafter. These families are spread across three revenue divisions (Tirupati, Chittoor and Nagari) and five mandals (KVB Puram, Nindra, Vijayapuram, Puttur and Karvetinagar). We found that in only one instance (that of the family of a woman farmer K Jayanti of Agarampeta village in Nindra mandal), has the Rs seven lakh ex-gratia under G.O 43 been paid. The other seven families have been left high and dry by the government.

These seven families have not been extended the financial assistance package evolved as support under GO 43 though they are clearly eligible. In all these cases it can easily be established that there was correlation between farm-related operations and economic distress eventually leading to suicide. All these farmers principally raised paddy, maize corn and groundnut with reliance on bore-wells. They 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 as they were unable to repay these loans which they had taken at high interest rates. As such they fall within the purview of G.O. 43 but the government has failed to come to their aid.

What is shocking is thatthe RDO-headed three-member verification and certification committee had not visited even a single of these seven villages and spoken with the families so as to determine facts 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. This manner of negligence is truly pathetic and defeats the very purpose of G.O. 43.

In the face of this inexcusable administrative and political neglect and insensitivity, we wonder how the Chief Minister can make tall claims when no enquiries, either at the mandal or divisional level, have taken place at all as is required under G.O. 43? Had these enquiries taken place, it could have easily been established that the farmers committed suicide because of ‘agrarian reasons’. It could have been ascertained with certainty that they took their own lives because of losses in farm related operations leading to an ever-spiraling cycle of indebtedness and consequently intense distress. As such their families are eligible for the assistance as envisaged under G.O. 43.

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. We call upon the State government to stop trying to play down 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:

Tirupati district
Srikalahasti division:
KVB Puram mandal:

  1. T Venkateswara Reddy, (41), 18-12-2020 (date of death), Karlapudi (village).
  2. D Elumalai (42), 22-1-2022, Srinivasapuram (v).
  3. K Mohanachari (45), 13-12-2021, Aare (v).
  4. C Venu (57), 23-2-2021, Aare (v).

Puttur mandal:

  1. M Bhaskar Mandadi (55), 9-3-2020, Venugopalapuram (v)

Chittoor district
Nagari division:
Nindra mandal:

  1. K Jayanti (53), 16-9-2019, Agarampeta (v) (this family was paid Rs seven lakh under GO 43).

Vijayapuram mandal:

  1. M Raghupathi, (43), 26-8-2020, Kalikapuram (v).

Karvetinagar mandal:

  1. S Bhoopalayya (51), 19-2-2020, TKM Peta (v).

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

B Kondal – RSV State committee member
K Madan Sekhar – HRF State executive committee member
VS Krishna – HRF AP&TS Coordination Committee member


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