Sambalpur/Kantabanji: Two debt-ridden farmers ended their lives by consuming pesticides in Bolangir and Sambalpur district Wednesday. Lalit Barik (60) of Khulia village under Maneswar block in Sambalpur committed suicide by consuming pesticides.
Similarly, a farmer committed suicide by consuming pesticides at Kamemunda under Turekela block in Bolangir district. The deceased, Sarat Majhi alias Chitru (45), also debt-ridden and under stress after crop loss. Under severe stress due to crop loss and debt burden, Barik took the extreme step Tuesday evening. He was rushed to VSS Institute of Medical Sciences and Research where he died while undergoing treatment Wednesday morning.
Barik owned 10 acre and had leased another 15 acres where he cultivated paddy during the last Kharif season. His hopes of a bumper crop were dashed after his paddy was infested by pests.
He once again cultivated summer paddy to make up for the loss by taking loans from moneylenders and banks. However, the crop was again destroyed due to torrential rain.
Barik had taken a loan of `17 lakh. Moreover, he was not given a crop insurance after the crop loss, forcing him to take the step, his son Saroj Barik said. According to reports, Majhi had an acre where he cultivated paddy by taking loans from money lenders. He had hoped for a bumper harvest.
His crops were also damaged by incessant rain. Unable to bear the loss, he went to his farmland and consumed pesticides Tuesday evening. Family members spotted him writhing in pain and vomiting blood. They rushed him to Kantabanji government hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.
Angry villagers took the body Wednesday morning and staged a demonstration, demanding compensation for the family. The agitators relented after SDPO Prafulla Kumar Mishra, executive magistrate-cum-tehsildar Subash Chandra Sethia reached the spot and assured them of necessary compensation after a probe. A cotton farmer from Madiguda village in Kalahandi district had committed suicide due to crop failure August 5.