Parched lives

Print edition : February 03, 2017

VELLAIYAN took on lease a piece of land to cultivate paddy near his house at Madha Kovil Street in Keezh Tirupanthuruthi village in Tiruvaiyaru taluk, Thanjavur district. The north-east monsoon failed and there was no groundwater either. Vellaiyan was found dead in his field. He is survived by his wife and schoolgoing children.

D. Rajendran, in his late 40s, of Thevur village, Keezh Velur panchayat union, Nagapattinam district, collapsed and died of a heart attack in the afternoon of January 6 in his field. He was heartbroken when he saw that the paddy he tended to had withered for lack of water. Ironically, Rajendran died when he was waiting for a team comprising a Minister, the District Collector and officials of the Agriculture and Revenue Departments that was to visit his field for an assessment of the crop loss. The Frontline team reached his home at Thevur the same evening. His body was kept in his thatched hut. He is survived by his wife, Indira, daughter Rajalakshmi and son Kesavan.

One of the mourners who had gathered in front of his house said that Rajendran had leased five acres of land for Rs.1.5 lakh and that he had borrowed the money from a moneylender at a high rate of interest. Since the irrigation canals were dry, Rajendran spent money in drilling a borewell. But it did not yield water. “It was a total loss for him. He was not eating properly for a few days. He was heartbroken. He collapsed in his field in the hot sun,” said Ilanthamizhan, a resident.

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