Bonla Vasantha’s husband, a tenant farmer, committed suicide six months ago after his crop failed. She waited for all these months for a compensation, but no help came from the Telangana government.
But her long wait finally got over on Thursday when state Law Minister Indrakaran Reddy handed her an ex-gratia cheque of Rs 1 lakh, a day before Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Adilabad. Vasantha now hopes the Congress vice-president will “do something” for her three daughters — Ranu (14), Lakshmi (12) and Akshaya (9) — while visiting Lakshmanchanda village during his 15-km padyatra.
Debt-ridden farmers, further hit by crop failures, are now pinning hopes on Rahul’s visit for financial help.
At least 120 farmers have committed suicide in the district allegedly due to crop failures and mounting debts since Telangana was formed on June 2 last year. Only 10 families have received ex-gratia and Rahul’s impending visit made Vasantha’s family the 11th to receive the ex-gratia.
Last year, farmers experimented by sowing soya which yielded them profit. This year, more farmers had sowed soya along with cotton and maize, but all the three crops failed.
“Three days before my husband hanged himself, he cried in front of me. He said that he owed Rs 5 lakh to money lenders. He had borrowed heavily to dig borewell which failed. The crop also failed. I told him not to worry and together we will face the difficult times,” says Vasantha.
Three days ago, Adilabad district Congress leaders approached her and informed about Rahul’s visit to the district and that he was keen to meet her family. “I have heard names of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. I hope his visit will bring some help from the government. We need some financial help. If Rahul Gandhi’s visit forces the government to take care of us, then it would be of great help. It will give me courage and hope to carry on in spite the difficulties I face daily,” she says.
The other bereaved families the Congress leader will meet are those of D V Rajeshwar at Koratikal village, Soodi Lasunanna of Lakshman-chanda, S Gangadhar of Rachapur, and P Laxman of Wadial.