“He committed suicide on the 23rd day of our daughter’s wedding. We had half an acre of land but there was hardly any income from that. So it was not an easy life to lead. We took a mortgage loan over 10 years ago from the local Co-operative Bank to start a dairy business. Over time we would give the maximum quantity of milk to the Service Co-operative society. My husband even received an award for that. But after that disaster struck, our cows died of some disease and we missed one instalment to the bank and everything went haywire from then on. We were in a situation to either repay the loan or get our daughter married. My husband borrowed five lakhs and we paid off three lakhs, and about two lakhs were left. Then he took another loan for our daughter’s wedding, about 5 lakhs. The bank took the 2 lakhs from that to pay off the previous loan and gave us the rest. We couldn’t manage with the amount the bank gave us. There was a dowry of 200 grams of gold and 50,000 rupees that had to be paid.
We sold our land to pay the dowry and my husband was devastated because of the loss of land, death of the cows and not being able to repay the loan. He drank pesticide. We didn’t receive any assistance except for a cow from the government since ours was not an agricultural loan and not considered a farm suicide. My son got a job and repaid the debt and bought back our half-acre of land. I hope my son doesn’t have to go through the same pressures as my husband did.” Indira, Palakkad District.