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Inability to Repay Loan – ‘Best Farmer’ Ends Life

Posted by Sandeep Shelke on December 31st, 2009

Namaste Friends, I’ve came across these two very sad stories and equally very disturbing as well.


First happened on 21 Nov 2009.  A farmer could not get a good price for his farm produce and succumbed to mounting loan repayments. Here is the story:

UP sugarcane farmer commits suicide

LUCKNOW: Distressed at not getting an adequate price for his produce, a debt-ridden sugarcane farmer allegedly committed suicide. The victim burnt his fields in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district and then jumped in the fire, police said on Saturday. Isbuddin (51), a resident of Asara village in Baghpat, about 400-km from Lucknow, took the extreme step on Friday evening. According to locals, Isbuddin was depressed for the last few days and had even stopped talking to his family members. In order to repay his loans, Isbuddin wanted to sell his produce for a minimum of Rs.270 per quintal.

Second story happened on 29 December 2009. A very very disappointing and disheartening story of “Best Farmer commiting suicide”.

Best Farmer of the Year Commits Suicide

Kasargod, Dec 29: Kanakattody Radhakrishna Shetty (60) committed suicide by consuming poison on Sunday December 27, after being unable to repay the bank loan raised by him. Shetty had been the recipient of the ‘best farmer’ award from Bellur region some years back.

Shetty, a progressive farmer, had raised loan from a bank to develop his land. Because of this year’s untimely rains, his crops were destroyed and he was unable to repay the loan. His family members said that he was going through mental agony, after receiving repeated notices from the bank to repay his loan.

Radhakrishna was the president of Vishnumurty Dhoomavati Daivasthana in Kinningar. He is survived by wife, Maina Shetty and three children.


Just a thought came to my mind that a one time actor Vishnuvardhan dies of heart attack and all media channels make a note of it. 31st Celebration is the biggest breaking news.

But a “Best Farmer” comming suicide is no news, forget big or small.

Shame on you irresponsible and hypocrite media.

जय भारत!

5 Responses to “Inability to Repay Loan – ‘Best Farmer’ Ends Life”

  1. Sanjeev Sabhlok Says:

    Dear Sandeep

    Thanks for bringing these very poignant stories to one’s attention. The sad reality is that our regulatory system in India doesn’t deal with this problem sensibly.

    It is relatively easy to fix such things through good regulation. It can be made mandatory that loans for risky events like farming should be bundled with a suitable insurance premium that will repay the loan when crops fail. If the premium is spread across all farmers in India the amount will be quite small, hardly adding a few basis points to the loan.

    Second, on top of that, we need a social insurance scheme that guarantees that anyone who faces unfavourable outcomes in the marketplace is at guaranteed that his/her family will get a minimum amount to eat, etc. This minimum amount cannot be used by lenders to extract loan repayments. Without a social insurance scheme we are preventing people from investing and taking risks: two key drivers of progress.

    The fact that this very old problem in India has not been resolved speaks volumes for the mismanagement of this great country where lives are cheap and corruption is king.

    As you are aware, FTI is a group of leaders that will take on such problems headlong, through good regulation. I would ask your readers to consider joining the Freedom Team (http://freedomteam.in/).


  2. संदीप नारायण शेळके Says:

    I completely agree with good regulations like insurance with every loan (like we have for home loans and car loans), minimum support. But a simple question is how to bring that change. (No doubt FTI is trying hard).
    But is there any alternative, till we have a mass movement with FTI, which can bring relief to the much stressed farmer’s community.
    One of my fried was talking about “adopting farmer” like we adopt orphan children. I’ve not discussed his plan or idea in detail. I’ll ask him to put his idea here.

    Till then if you (or any other reader) have thoughts about bringing in the much needed relief them please share it. Because we can not and should not wait for a mass movement otherwise there will be a lot more cases like this.

    जय भारत!

  3. Sanjeev Sabhlok Says:

    The matter should be taken up as top priority for Adharshila activities all over the country in rural areas. There needs to be a demand for such solutions – and then of course there need to be leaders who will contest elections and deliver on such demands.

    Adopting one farmer at a time is like trying to clean the ocean of salt one glassful at a time. It definitely works for the one glass, but doesn’t solve the ocean’s ‘problem’ of salinity.

    The task is not that hard if a number of good leaders can get together and change the system. If nothing else the message will go through to the policy makers.


  4. Frederick Armbrister Says:

    Hello there – just a quick note to say kudos for this entry. Very well-written.

  5. संदीप नारायण शेळके Says:

    Thanks a lot. Keep visiting.

    जय भारत!

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