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Cyclone Gaja: 'Insignificant Compensation' Has Left Farmers in the Lurch, TN Sees 3 Suicides in a Week

The Tamil Nadu government said over 88,102 hectare agricultural land has been affected in coastal districts adding that lots of trees and standing crops have been damaged because of the cyclone.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:November 26, 2018, 5:45 PM IST
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Cyclone Gaja: 'Insignificant Compensation' Has Left Farmers in the Lurch, TN Sees 3 Suicides in a Week
Tamil Nadu farmer Tiruchelvan who committed suicide by consuming poison as his farmland was destroyed by cyclone Gaja.
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Chennai: A 45-year-old coconut farmer from Pudukkottai district committed suicide on Saturday after his 25-acre land was destroyed due to cyclone Gaja.

On Saturday, a broken and depressed Tiruchelvan went to his farmland and consumed pesticide. He was rushed to a government hospital and was declared dead by the hospital earlier this morning.

Meena, Tiruchelvan’s wife, said: "We had a normal life and he was fine but after cyclone Gaja, he was worried about the future and was depressed. He left home saying he is going to visit the farmland but he consumed poison there."

Villagers from Pudukkottai district say the state government should compensate farmers whose lands are destroyed as their livelihoods are at stake. Recalling their last conversation, Tiruchelvan's uncle said the man was worried as to how would he earn a living now.

But this is not the only case witnessed in Tamil Nadu. On November 22, Sundarraj, 58, consumed poison after his five-acre land was destroyed by cyclone Gaja. His daughter recalled how he started consuming sleeping pills to get over the trauma. Sundarraj left his house on November 21 and did not return.

Villagers in the area said the state government's “insignificant amount” as compensation left farmers in the lurch. Another banana farmer from Trichy district committed suicide and jumped in front of a train due to the loss of his land.

DMK President MK Stalin had urged the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to take steps in preventing suicides due to cyclone. “Today itself two farmers committed suicide. These suicides should be prevented immediately,” MK Stalin tweeted on Nov 22.

The farmers’ community is the most affected lot because of the cyclone as their crops are damaged. The Tamil Nadu government said over 88,102 hectare agricultural land has been affected in coastal districts adding that lots of trees and standing crops have been damaged because of the cyclone.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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