Indian farmer who killed himself over land reform is latest in wave of suicides

An impoverished Indian farmer died Wednesday after hanging himself in front of hundreds of other farmers who had gathered for a protest in the capital. It was the latest in a wave of suicides that has left at least 40 farmers dead in recent weeks — and some 300,000 dead since 1995. According to a note he left behind and which police recovered, Gajendra Singh said he killed himself after his father, left with nothing after rainstorms destroyed their crops, forced him from the family home.

I have three children. I don’t have the money to feed my children. Hence, I want to commit suicide.

The man’s handwritten note

Nearly 40,000 people engaged in India’s agriculture sector committed suicide in 2011-13, according to latest data available with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The data showed that 11,772 farmers committed suicide in 2013 due to crop loss or other farming related stress, while in 2012 the number was 13,754. In 2011, 14,027 farmers committed suicide, the NCRB data showed. This year, unseasonal rains and hailstorm damaged 93.81 lakh hectare area under crops and affected lakhs of farmers all across the nation.