S. Sundar

VIRUDHUNAGAR: Having lost their 140-day-old paddy crop just a few days before harvest in the recent rain, the only hope for farmers of Sirukulam village in Virudhunagar district is some “big relief” from the Government. “Do something for us. Or else we have to end our lives,” a few women told the visiting Central team on Tuesday.

With tears rolling down, they showed the damaged paddy plant. It has been raining here for almost a month. “This is not good for human beings or cattle,” said S. Alagammal who lost standing crop on half an acre land.

The farmers here cultivated long-term paddy varieties of ‘ponni.’ Out of 119 hectares of land in the village, crop on 48 hectares is lost completely.

Though Sirukulam tank has enough water, the farmers do not want to test their luck once again. “We are yet to repay the loan we got (from private money lenders) for the lost crop. How can we spend more to raise another one,” asked Jaya. The soil is not suitable for horticulture and short-term paddy crop, said 55-year-old C. Jyothimani. “We have not seen such a continuous rain, that too in summer,” he said.

C. Jaishankar reports from Ramanathapuram

Inspecting the damaged crops in Kamudi taluk of Ramanathapuram, team leader Dharmendra Sharma said they would submit their report after collecting details from the State government.