About 50 farmers from Tamil Nadu have been camping in Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since the past two weeks. The Cauvery Basin, where they come from, has been facing the worst drought since 140 years.
The farmers, wearing loin cloths, protested with skulls that they said were of fellow farmers who had committed suicide.
Skull of a farmer who committed suicide out of desperation.
A farmer poses with a mouse in his mouth to highlight the grim situation they face with hardly any food or water.
PETA objected to the use of mice. So the next day farmers sat with pictures of Mahatma Gandhi.
G. Mahadevan, a protesting farmer said he had taken a loan of Rs 4 lakhs and he needed to pay back Rs 7 lakhs. But he has no money. The bank sent him a legal notice asking him to pay. When his wife saw it she died of a heart attack. Damodaran, another farmer, took a loan of Rs 4.5 lakhs to buy a tractor and as per the bank’s notice he has to repay Rs 13 lakhs.
Farmers are asking for the formation of a Cauvery Management Committee, linking of all rivers by Smart Waterways Project and profitable prices for agricultural produce apart from a farm loan waiver.
The farmers say they will continue to protest, despite the rising mercury, until their demands are met.