Debt forces farmer to become security guard

There can never be a greater tragedy for a farmer than abandoning his land to take up a job in the city, but 60-year-old Nanduri Pentaiah thinks it is better than committing suicide because of piling debt. 

Nanduri Pentaiah is now a security guard at an ATM.

A farmer from Mazeedpur in Ranga Reddy district, Pentaiah is now guarding an ATM machine in Hyderabad. The six -foot tall farmer hoped that a good monsoon would result in good crops, but as the tank he and farmers from six other villages depend on for irrigation remained dry leaving him no choice but to move to the city. “The Ibrahimpatnam water tank was the lifeline for more than six villages , with real-estate people occupying most of the tank’s catchment area it shrank and now there’s no inflow of water,” Pentaiah said.

Not long ago, Pentaiah was a self-reliant farmer cultivating six acres of land in his home village located just outside Hyderabad. 

Over the years, he sold four acres of land to get his daughters married and had struggled to get things going in the remaining two-acre area. The dried tank did not help his situation.  Though the tank’s catchment area had been blocked by construction activities, he was hopeful that the monsoon will do the wonder. 

Now, Pentaiah trudges into the ATM booth and changes over to the uniform and stands guard for the day. “I got this job as decades of farm work made me stronger,” he said changing back to his traditional attire at the end of his shift in the evening.  “Before joining the security agency, I was still hoping for good rains. As there are no rains in sight, I think I will have to continue being a guard for a longer time,” the farmer said.

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