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Indian farmers driven to suicide as hail ruins crops

Published on Mar 24, 2014 5:54 AM

MUMBAI (REUTERS) - Unseasonal rains and hailstorms this month have damaged the winter-sown crops of millions of Indian farmers, but Ms Rekha Garole lost more than others.

Her 42-year-old husband Santuka killed himself this month after hail devastated the wheat and chickpea crops that they had been counting on to repay a bank loan of 90,000 rupees (S$1,877).

"He committed suicide to escape his debt burden," says Ms Garole, who met nearly a dozen political leaders in a week at her mud house in the Nanded district of western Maharashtra state but has yet to receive any financial aid.

Santuka, like other farmers in his village of Golegaon, prayed last year for bountiful rains to end two years of drought in the region.

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