Skip to content

Indian farmers sell wives to survive

September 8, 2009

From the Financial Times

Debt-ridden farmers in north India had resorted in extremis to selling their wives and daughters to money-lenders in recent months as the country suffered one of the worst monsoons in years, said the National Commission for Women, a government body.

At least three cases have been reported in the Bundelkhand region, Uttar Pradesh, of farmers selling female family members for Rs4,000-Rs12,000 (£50-£150), Girija Vyas, the commission’s chairperson, told the Financial Times.

Sangeeta, a woman sold by her father to a money lender, said: “I was sold because my family had no other alternative.”

Another victim said: “What are we supposed to eat? Although we have land, we cannot grow anything as it has not rained enough … We have already taken massive loans.”

In spite of a rise in rainfall in the past two weeks, India has had one of the worst monsoons in years, forcing the government to declare drought in 278 districts in 11 states. A good monsoon is vital to India: more than 70 per cent of the country’s 1.2bn-strong population lives in rural areas, and in about 60 per cent of cases farmers’ crop land is not irrigated and thus dependent on rainfall.

The poor monsoon has also driven at least 25 people in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh to suicide in the past two months as farmers have struggled to pay their debts.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: