21.09.2016

I am still paying my dues and interest,” the farmer explains. “Additionally, I had to pay labourers working on my farm and spend money to hire tractors.”

Since snakebites are unforeseen incidents, the affected farmers face sudden financial pressures. Vaiyapuri’s paper reveals that over 40 per cent of victims took out loans to pay for treatment, and to repay the same, they were forced to sell their land. The nationalised banks do not provide medical loans for snakebites. “This is largely an agricultural problem. There is no medical insurance, and farmers sell everything to survive, which turns their life upside down,” Vaiyapuri states. Almost 18 per cent of victims surveyed sold their stored crops (valued from Rs 1,000 to 20,000), 14 per cent sold valuable items (valued from Rs 10,000 to 100,000), more than 9 per cent sold cattle (valued from Rs 5,000 to Rs 30,000) and over 5 per cent sold vehicles such as bicycles (valued from Rs 1,000 to 2,000) and motorcycles (valued from Rs 5,000 to 20,000).