Kurva Manjula, a 23-year-old woman farmer from Tondapalli in Vikarabad district, has been knocking on the doors of various government offices, seeking compensation for her husband’s death two years ago. Unable to clear accumulated losses of ₹6 lakh that he had taken for successive agricultural seasons, Manjula’s husband died by suicide. The stories of Padmamma, Padugu Rajita, Venkatamma, D Mounika, and 250 others that gathered at the Dharna Chowk here on Thursday are no different.

They related their stories at a public hearing held by the Rythu Swarajya Vedika, seeking financial assistance as promised by the government.

With in-laws are unwilling to part ownership on family property and several of them being tenant farmers, these widows are at a loss on how to fend for themselves.

“We don’t get Rythu Bandhu because we are tenant farmers. We don’t get access to financial support from banks because we don’t own land. We have to depend on private loans at very high interest rates,” Venkatamma from Madgul in Ranga Reddy district, said.

D Mounika from Warangal was quite vocal. “It is not just about me. There are others that are facing have asimilar problems. There is no help coming,” she said.

Acute distress

The Rythu Swarajya Vedika says there is acute agrarian distress in Telangana. “Over 7,000 farmers have died by suicide since the formation of the State in 2014. Small, marginal, and tenant farmers are the worst hit,” Kanneganti Ravi, an RSV leader, said.

While Rythu Bandhu gives farmers ₹10,000 an acre, another scheme, Rythu Bima, provides an insurance cover of ₹5 lakh.

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“At least two to four farmers are dying by suicides every day. Of the 7,000 families that lost a breadwinner, only 1,600 have received ex-gratia as promised by Government Orders 194 and 173,” RSV leader B Kondal, who has been coordinating with the kin, said.

GO 194 allows an ₹5 lakh ex-gratia to the kin with a one-time settlement of loans up to ₹1 lakh.


The families demand that the government complete the payment within three months. They also demand extension of Rythu Bima to all farm households, including the landless. Besides giving identity cards to tenant farmers under the Licenced Cultivators Act 2011, the State should ensure the women get land ownership rights, they said.