Andhra Pradesh

Tenant farmers’ families in Andhra Pradesh struggle to make ends meet

K. Swapna of Peddavaduguru, wife a tenant farmer, along with her children , looks for government help.

K. Swapna of Peddavaduguru, wife a tenant farmer, along with her children , looks for government help. | Photo Credit: R.V.S. PRASAD

Kolkar Yamini and Uttej are two bright students from Cheemalavagupalli, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s maternal grandfather’s village in Peddapappur mandal of Anantapur district, but they are living at the mercy of some relatives as their father, Bala Chandraiah, 43, a tenant farmer, committed suicide in August last year.

Bala Chandraiah used to till 2 acres of his father’s land and another 14 acres of others on tenancy growing groundnut in 5 acres, chickpea in 5 acres, and cotton in 4 acres. Due to failure of all crops in the 2021 Kharif season, his debts mounted to ₹11 lakh, which he could not repay. Unable to find a way out he took his life on August 1 last year.

Chandraiah’s wife, Lakshmi Devi, has been single-handedly managing her house with the financial and moral support from her brother, but was skeptical of her ability to give good future to her children, though daughter Yamini got 577 marks in Class 10, when The Hindu asked her as to how she was planning the future of children.

Lakshmi Devi of Cheemalavagupalli along with her children at her house on Tuesday.

Lakshmi Devi of Cheemalavagupalli along with her children at her house on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: R.V.S. PRASAD

“A three-man committee took all the details and the claim went to RDO’s office, but it was returned, as Chandraiah did not have any land in his name and also did not know about the CCRC Card given to tenant darmers,” said Ms. Lakshmi Devi. “After JSP’s Pawan Kalyan credited ₹1 lakh, the MRO office took our details and ₹1 lakh was sanctioned under YSR Bima, but there is no word on ₹7 lakh compensation, which could have bailed my family out of this situation,” she observed.

Similar is the situation of K. Swapna, an SC woman left at the mercy of her father-in-law at Peddavaduguru. Her husband, K. Narayanaswamy, only son of his father, used to till 4 acres of their own land and had taken another three acres on tenancy to grow cotton, but unable to repay debts and failure of crop, he ended his life on September 22, 2021, leaving behind his wife and two children below 6 years.

Three months later she too attempted suicide, but timely medical aid saved her. Now she has a debt of ₹5 lakh to be repaid with a daily income of ₹150 to $200 from working in others’ farms or going for the NREGS works.

When contacted, Joint Director Agriculture, B. Chandra Naik said more than 100 cases of farmers’ suicide were reported in 2021 and 2022 (so far) in the bifurcated Anantapur district, but the Agriculture Department had recorded 95, pronounced 32 of them ineligible for compensation and sanctioned compensation to 42 families till Tuesday with seven more claims sent for approval from State government.

In Sri Sathya Sai district, eight cases of compensation were paid out of the 29 cases of compensation sanctioned in the combined district, three claims of 2022 were pending with the government, said Joint Director Sivanarayana.


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Printable version | Aug 5, 2022 11:25:33 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tenant-farmers-families-in-andhra-pradesh-struggle-to-make-ends-meet/article65576421.ece