You just don’t hear about these types of stories in the United States.
Over 1,500 farmers in an Indian state committed suicide after being driven to debt by crop failure, it was reported today.
The agricultural state of Chattisgarh was hit by falling water levels.
“The water level has gone down below 250 feet here. It used to be at 40 feet a few years ago,” Shatrughan Sahu, a villager in one of the districts, told Down To Earth magazine
“Most of the farmers here are indebted and only God can save the ones who do not have a bore well.”
Mr Sahu lives in a district that recorded 206 farmer suicides last year. Police records for the district add that many deaths occur due to debt and economic distress.
This is obviously tragic on so many levels. Even the farmers that did not participate in this mass suicide are feeling the extreme pressure of a poor economy and poor weather.
“The crop is so bad this year that we will not even be able to save any seeds,” said Lakhnu’s friend Santosh. “There were no rains at all.”
“That’s why Lakhnu left even before harvesting the crop. There is nothing left to harvest in his land this time. He is worried how he will repay these loans.”
Bharatendu Prakash, from the Organic Farming Association of India, told the Press Association: “Farmers’ suicides are increasing due to a vicious circle created by money lenders. They lure farmers to take money but when the crops fail, they are left with no option other than death.”
Death actually isn’t the only option. Many times, the children of the farmers who owe money lenders are forced into slave labor to repay those debts. Unfortunately, it is the children who bear the brunt of the suffering in these situations.
A young boy at the Rourkela Home in was brought to The Miracle Foundation after being forced to work in a rock quarry. The boy, not even five years old now, was unchained by a Miracle Foundation employee after repaying a debt of $17 US dollars that originally forced his father to give him up.
$17 dollars. To buy a boy out of bondage.
The deaths of these farmers will leave their poor wives with an uphill battle to climb in order to support their children. Unfortunately, the chain reaction of these deaths will be worse care for kids, child abandonment and in many cases, slave labor is the end result for these children.
That is where The Miracle Foundation comes in. We’re the alternate path for these kids other than slavery or manual labor, or even a life on the streets.