On Raksha Bandhan, when brothers around the country were renewing their pledge to protect their sisters, a helpless 40-year-old lady farmer in Mahrashtra’s Marathwada region killed herself as she struggled to feed her five children.
Manisha Gatkal, a 40-year-old farmer in Osmanabad district, decided to end her life by pouring kerosene oil on her body before setting herself on fire.
Days after her death, Gatkal’s house in Ambi village, continues to suffer from lack of grain or food items. With nothing to eat, her children can only stare at the empty vessels around.
“We are really very poor. There was no food. I had no work… When I got some work I went out. She latched the door and killed herself,” Gatkal’s husband Laxman was quoted by NDTV.
One of her relatives said, “Ration is just too little – 18 kg of wheat and 12 kg of rice. That’s not enough for seven people. Just lasts 12 days.”
What’s worse? The villagers say there’s simply no work even under the central government employment schemes, which guarantee them jobs.
Manisha’s brother-in-law said, “Had he got work under NREGA, they would have had money and she wouldn’t have committed suicide.”
Marathwada region of Maharashtra has been hit by three years of continuous droughts. This has resulted in an alarming rise of farmer suicides . In 2014, the region witnessed the death of 574 farmer suicides, while more than 628 farmers have already killed themselves this year.