Drought had sapped their energies, flood took lives

Drought had sapped their energies, flood took lives

A flooded agriculture field in a rain-affected village of Haveri district.

The floods are receding in the district. But the crops continue to be under water, much to the distress of the farmers.

The crop loss has been so severe that three farmers who were at their wit’s end committed suicide right in their fields, in four days.

Another person had been washed away in River Dharma. The parents of Mallappa, 20, from Havanur, one of the farmers who committed suicide by consuming pesticide, are crestfallen.

They said the family had been hit hard all these days by drought and they had taken Rs 2 lakh in loans. Now, Mallappa’s death had pushed them deeper into crisis.

The story of Paravva, wife of Shivappa who ended his life at Hotanahalli in Hangal taluk, is no different. Shivappa had grown maize on his one-acre land and rainwater brought the fruits of labour to nought. 

Hanumanthappa, a 70-year-old farmer from Kadaramandalagi, reportedly died of a heart attack after seeing his four-acre farm of cotton and maize filled with water.

Hanumanthappa went to the field at 6 am on Sunday and did not return. When the family went searching him, they found him lying dead, said Hanumanthappa’s grandchildren. 

Heavy crop loss

Haveri district received 247 mm of rain in the last 12 days and 46,655 hectares of agricultural and horticultural crops have been destroyed. The rising river waters have only compounded the people’s problems.

In a similar incident in neighbouring Dharwad district, a 36-year-old farmer committed suicide by consuming pesticide on Sunday, after he lost his
crop and his house collapsed due to rain.