I met kavitha during my visit to Pandharkawada village, Yavatmal district, Vidarbha This is the story of Kavitha, who is a mother, a babhi, a daughter, a wife, a homemaker, now a farm widow turned farmer in the #suicide capital of India, Vidarbha and she is just 27 years of age. Despite the gravity of the situation, she spoke with great confidence and she spoke with an infectious smile. The mother: Manasi, her 8 year old daughter, was very happy since it was the Independence Day and she wore her favorite 10 Rs tri-colored hair band. The 2 year old daughter was home with her in laws. The mother also told how she draped her daughter with a tri-colored saree and when how when Manasi entered the class room everyone would say “Look Bharat Mata is walking into the classroom”. The Bhabi: Bhabi was very worried about her 15 year old brother-in-law because he wasn’t getting any work. He only had 2 pairs of dresses which he carefully juggled through. He would be very calm and very quiet, often refused to take part in any social gatherings or any celebrations. He didn’t have any footwear, which was one reason why he was feeling very shy to move around. Bhabi was very happy when they managed to buy a pair of chappals for Rs 100. The daughter: Her parents were working as landless laborer s and their income these days isn’t consistent. They have work only on a few days. Her brother is also looking for a job. She is worried about her brother as well who is looking for a job. The homemaker: The kids school expenses aren’t that much. The books, uniforms etc. cost about Rs 500 a year. It’s the other expenses that add up to about Rs 3000 or so. The wife: Kavitha finished her 12th grade and after her marriage had discontinued her studies. Her husband was very troubled and increasingly frustrated over his helplessness and his never-ending debt situation. He had shared this with Kavitha as well but she could not anticipate that her husband would take such an extreme step. The farmer: 3 acres of land is all she has on which she cultivates cotton and soya bean. There is an outstanding loan with the bank which hasn’t waived yet. The price of cotton in the market isn’t guaranteed and there has hardly been any rains adding more trouble to the already troubled situation. There have been many Kavitha’s before, many Kavitha’s now and unfortunately, if no intervention, there would be many more.
If we blame the politicians for being indifferent, then we are to be blamed equally, for we are indifferent to their sufferings If we blame the govt for being ignorant, then we are to be blamed equally, for we are completely ignorant of their sufferings. If we blame the govt for not having the will to solve the crisis, we are to be blamed equally, for we never had the will to question and hold our ministers responsible and accountable.