Crop disease, loan forces areca grower to end life

The deceased, Radhakrishna Nayak (46) of Donimoole in Aletti, owned 2.94 acre land. Of which, 75 per cent was used for arecanut cultivation. In 2000, he had borrowed loan of Rs 50,000 from PLD bank for the construction of a farm house. In the beginning he was repaying the loan on time. However, later arecanut plantation was affected with yellow leaf disease and he could not repay the loan. But the bank kept sending him notices to repay the loan. In fact, the loan and the interest had crossed Rs 70,000. He took an extreme step to end his life after he found it difficult to repay the loan.

He had submitted memorandum to Chief Minister as well as the officials to waive off the loan he had borrowed. In fact, Horticulture department officials had visited the plantation in 2007 and had submitted a report to the Tahsildar on the complete damage to the plantation owing to yellow leaf disease. Based on the report, Tahsildar had recommended the PLD Bank to waive off the loan. But the bank continued to serve notices on him.

It is also said that Nayak had sent his children to his relatives’ house to pursue their education as he was finding it difficult to provide them with one square meal a day.
His daughter Deepika studies in Bettampady Government PU College while his son Dheeraj is studying in seventh standard at Maorarji Desai SChool in Panja.

Kissan Sene State President Ravikiran Punacha who visited the family urged the goevrnment to waive off the loan borrowed by the deaceased on humanitarian ground and provide suitable compensation. In the last 18 months, about 13 farmers have ended their lives in Dakshina Kannada district.


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