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Pathur damned and doomed
While there is a deliberate effort to paint most of the deaths in rural areas as farmers’ suicides, one village proves to be different. Of the many factors that could be blamed for the suicides, the striking factors are illiteracy and unemployment.
Medak: While there is a deliberate effort to paint most of the deaths in rural areas as farmers’ suicides, one village proves to be different. Of the many factors that could be blamed for the suicides, the striking factors are illiteracy and unemployment.
Illiteracy, unemployment plagues this villagae
Pathur, a gram panchayat with more than 3000 population, lies just outside Medak town along the Medak-Siddipet road. The scene of the village paints a sombre picture of unfinished houses, unrealised dreams and lives cut-short due to suicides.
In Pathur, the new wave of suicides started when Bussa Vijay (22), a painter working in Hyderabad, came back home, doused with kerosene and set himself on fire in November 2014. A few days after his death, Bussa Lakshmi (24), also died in a similar manner. Just a few days later Sunkari Ramavva (45) died exactly the same way.
What was common between the three was that their houses were located close to each other and their families were burdened with debts. Lakshmi was the only one among the three to receive farmers’ suicide compensation (only a part of it), as she had deposited all her gold in a bank for availing crop loan.
On December 31, 2014, Sana Rajini (29), who had just returned to her village after attending training for DSC, committed suicide due to unknown reasons. Even 2015, was not any different. The villagers had to witness another suicide on New Year. Durthi Yadagiri (30), hanged himself on January 1.
The First Information Report (FIR) stated that he died due to debts. The deaths continued until the end of the year, with another six persons (four of them youngsters) committing suicide.
A majority of the village population is Mudirajus who own very little land. Many of them own just a few guntas or half an acre of land. The fortunate ones own 1.5 to 2 acres of land. Tappa Yellam (28), neither owned a gunta of land, nor even had an own house.
His father died a few years ago and being the only son in the family, he got both of his sisters married. After taking up odd jobs in Hyderabad, he returned home to end life. There are several reasons attributed to his suicide. He didn’t own any land. Nobody came forward to marry him. Getting depressed, he hanged himself.
His mother still lives in the rented house paying Rs 250. Thanks to Aasara pensions, she is surviving. She also works as a daily wage labourer, but does not have a job card to work in NREGS works. Villagers blame it on the Field Assistant for not giving job cards to the eligible.
Mudavath Naresh (25) lived in Motakadi Thanda, a tribal hamlet which comes under Pathur. He shared two acres of land with his two brothers, leaving very little for him to cultivate.
The day when land surveyors came to his land to be acquired for laying Akkannapet- Medak railway line, he got depressed as his part of land, which had a functional borewell, was being acquired. He committed suicide the day survey was done, by hanging himself.