Thursday, September 27, 2007

The dead are dead, and we aren’t alive: Tehelka

Tehelka:: Free. Fair. Fearless: "
Nagratna cannot stop sobbing. Basavegowda, her husband, swallowed pesticide on the morning of June 2, just as the family was busy with its chores. He was rushed to KR Hospital in Mysore, where for the next 48 hours, doctors battled to save the life of a man who had lost the will to live. Owner of three acres of land at Sadholalu village, Basavegowda died with a debt of Rs 3 lakh against his name. He was unable to take any more harassment from the moneylenders he was indebted to.Only three months ago, Basavegowda had sunk a borewell with the loan, when he had not enough water for his sugarcane crop. He was one of the hundreds of farmers dependent on irrigation water from the Krishnaraja Sagar dam in Mandya district, about 100km from Bangalore. His farm was at the tail end of the dam's canals. Water to such farms is in short supply due to poorly maintained canals, pilferage by farmers and erratic power. His sugarcane crop dried up as a result.

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