400 farmer deaths in UP: Freakish weather takes toll; Agra Mental Hospital forced to set up specialised cell



By NewsgGram Staff  Writer

Over 400 ryots have killed themselves in Uttar Pradesh after their crops were damaged by the freakish weather phenomenon. Along with the rise in number of deaths, the number of traumatized farmers visiting the Agra Mental Hospital has also gone up dramatically.

To deal with the rise in number of OPD patients, the mental institute has set up a specialized cell for the distressed farmers.

“The Agra Mental Hospital has opened a distress and suicide prevention help clinic…The number of patients in the OPD has gone up to 400 daily. Most of the new patients are farmers,” the medical superintendent, D.S. Rathod told a news agency.

Earlier this week, the Uttar Pradesh government  came out with a list of 65 districts which  have been affected by the unprecedented  weather, resulting in the death of over 400 ryots. “While around 55 farmers have committed suicide, more than 350 have died of shock,”  Revenue Secretary Suresh Chandra informed.

Expressing concerns over the growing level of distress amongst the farmers, social activist Manoj Choudhary told IANS, “Those who had taken loans from private money lenders are feeling the heat and are under tremendous pressure. These conditions call for constructive work by social activists and counsellers. One hopes the conditions do not compel people to turn violent.”

According to official estimates,  around 500,000 farmers so far have been hit by the unseasonal rains.