This is a part of our series #SaveFarmerFamilies where we feature the family of a farmer who has committed suicide. We aim to showcase their plight and raise funds to help setup sustainable businesses for these families.
Rupesh Kale used to grow Soyabean and cotton in his 3-acre land.
He was taking good care of his mother, wife and 2-year-old daughter, Monika. It was the year 2010. Monika was jumping with joy when her younger sister, Rupali, came into this world. But Rupesh did not seem to be happy. No, not because it was a girl child. He loved both his daughters more than his life and wanted to give them the best always. But the drought and the loan on his shoulders were not allowing him to do so. This time too he had taken a loan and invested in his farm. He also started working as a farm laborer. But the yield in his farm returned him only half of his investment, which was barely enough to repay the interest. The actual loan remained the same. Rupesh’s frustration was increasing day by day.
And just after 6 months of his younger daughter’s birth, on October 10, 2010, Rupesh consumed Monochrotophos, a pesticide that he used to protect his yield.
This was during the festival of Navratri, when Hindus worship the girl child. Rupesh’s wife, his mother and the two little girls were left in the house to survive through everything that Rupesh left behind.
“No one commits suicide if he bears a loss just once, Madam. Rupesh was helpless with the burden of the loan he had taken once and the loss in his farm year after year,” said Parag Landge, a social worker in Rupesh’s village.
Rupesh was just 30 years old when he died. Rupesh’s wife was much younger. Subhadra Kale – Rupesh’s mother – decided for the remarraige of her daughter-in-law. But the groom’s family did not want the two little girls to come along. And so Subhadra was left alone with these two innocent, and now orphan, kids.
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When we asked Subhadra if she had any clue about how depressed her son was, her answer was a bitter truth. She said-
“Every farmer is depressed, madam. Every one has loans. Every one is struggling. Any one can just give up at any time, like my son did.”
Subhadra is now striving hard to feed these two kids. Despite her old age, she works as a farm labourer. The kids don’t speak much. They just keep hoping for a better tomorrow. A tomorrow which might bring them food three times a day. That’s it!
UPDATE: We’ve reached the target amount to support 35 widows within just 6 days of running this series of stories! Thank you everybody & we shall keep posting updates on how the funds are being used to empower the widows
The Better India in association with Shivprabha Charitable Trust has started a fund-raiser to help 35 wives of farmers who committed suicide.
Your contribution will be used to train each of these 35 wives in skills such as tailoring and they will also be given a sewing machine each. Our target is to raise INR 3,50,000
Want to contribute more? Please click here to select the amount of your choice.
About Shivprabha Trust
Shivprabha Trust works in rural India for the Rural Development, Education, Yoga and health. They also work on electrifying un-electrified areas and till date have touched 400 lives in 6 villages in the past 8 years. The aim of this particular campaign is to empower the wives of the farmers who passed away in Maharashtra, India.
Shivprabha Trust wants to provide assured monthly income to wives of farmers through Mahila Gruh Udyog and has started this initiative in one village currently.