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Over 7,000 farmers have died by suicide in Telangana over the past seven yearsHyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao last month said his government would give Rs 3 lakh to the families of 750 farmers who died during protests against the (now-scrapped) farm laws.The grand gesture by KCR, as the Chief Minister is known, was widely seen as an indication of his building a national political profile ahead of Lok Sabha polls in 2024.However, in his own state, the families of thousands of farmers who died by suicide remain without compensation. With no help in sight, they have been forced to take to the streets. This was three months after NDTV showed that even those whose payments were sanctioned had not been paid.Budget constraints were cited as minister KT Rama Rao promised to expedite payments.For hundreds of widows pleading for compensation due to them, little has changed since then.”I have done the round of revenue officials but they said ‘we cannot help you since the land is not in his name’. He (her husband) will not get compensation or insurance,” Manjula told NDTV.As she spoke, her three-year-old son, Pranay, sat on her lap. It was his birthday.Padmaamma’s husband killed himself in 2018 because of a soul-crushing Rs 6 lakh debt from accumulated agricultural loans. Their 24-year-old son inherited those debts and he too, struggling to clear them, killed himself. Padmaamma still got no help.”How should I repay Rs 6 lakh debt? My grown-up son died and my husband died. How should I survive? I have done several rounds of offices… they say ‘go here, go there’ and finally say there is no budget,” she cried.Ryuthu Swarajya Vedika, a grassroots organisation working with farmers in the state has listed 7,000 who died by suicide in Telangana over the past seven years.Only 1,600 families have been compensated. The total amount disbursed is just Rs 6 lakh.Last month KCR slammed the centre, calling it “anti-farmer, anti-poor, anti-middleclass” and attacking it for refusing to buy parboiled rice from Telangana farmers.



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