After two successive crop failures, the rabi crop this year looked promising, but hailstorm spells dashed all hopes.

A farmer on his drought-hit field at Gehra village in Mahoba district in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
A farmer on his drought-hit field at Gehra village in Mahoba district in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt / Picture from THE HINDU

THE HINDU | OMAR RASHID | DECEMBER 2 2015


Moolchand Kumar Prajapati and Jaidevi broke down as they spoke of their son Sunil, 24, who hanged himself last week.

The past year was exceptionally difficult for the Prajapati family, which owns barely 1.5 bighas (about half an acre) of land at Gehra village of Mahoba district in the heart of Bundelkhand. After two successive crop failures, the rabi crop this year looked promising, but a few spells of hailstorm dashed all hopes. Reeling under a debt of Rs. 2 lakh, the fresh stretch of drought, the third year in a row, proved to be the crippling blow for a dispirited Sunil. He left behind his wife and a month-old infant. “He lost his mental balance under this stress,” Moolchand says.

As thousands of families in Bundelkhand hit by severe drought, Moolchand’s family struggles for survival. They could grow only 25 kg of oilseeds in the season and have to travel 10 km on a broken path to the nearest market to buy basic food items. This is the worst crisis faced by the family,..continue reading

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