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Desperate farmers sell wives to pay debts in rural India कर्ज से निराश किसान अपनी (प्यारी) पत्नी को बेचने को विवश

  • Desperate farmers sell wives to pay debts in rural India कर्ज से निराश किसान अपनी (प्यारी) पत्नी को बेचने को विवश 
  • This news showing the reality of what is doing the Government to the farmer.
  • Now Read The Original News, Retrieved on Oct 24, 2009, 6.00PM
  • Desperate farmers sell wives to pay debts in rural India
  • By Sara Sidner, CNN, October 24, 2009 4:35 p.m. EDT
  • Source - http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/24/intl.india.farmers.selling.wives/

Drought, debt and desperation have pushed some farmers in rural India to sell their wives.
Drought, debt and desperation have pushed some farmers in rural India to sell their wives.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Some poor Indian farmers are selling their wives to pay debts
  • Social groups say exploitation of women common in some northern states
  • Government: Area prone to "atrocities," including buying and selling of women
  • Government, charities trying to help but the status of women remains
Bundelkhand, India (CNN)-- The cattle slowly drag the old-fashioned plow as a bone-thin farmerwalks behind, encouraging them to move faster with a series of yelps.
Itis a scene from times of old, but still the way many farmers operate inrural India, where the harvest often determines feast or famine.
Theregion is called Bundelkhand, spanning the two northern Indian statesof Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. It is here that drought, debt anddesperation have pushed people to extremes.
To survive the badyears, some farmers say they turn to the "Paisawalla" -- Hindi for therich man who lends money. Farmers say the loans from these unofficiallenders usually come with very high interest.
When the interestmounts up, lenders demand payment. Some farmers work as bonded laborersfor a lifetime to pay off their debts. Others here say because of yearsof little rain and bad harvests they are forced to give money lenderswhatever they ask for.
Video: Indian farmers sell wives
RELATED TOPICS
  • India
  • Poverty
Sometimes that includes their wives.
"Ithappens sometimes when somebody borrows money," says a farmer's wifewho did not want to be identified. She should know, considering whatpolice say she told them. She said a rich man bought her from herhusband.
"He did buy me," she says. "That's why he told me he bought me."
For 30 days she says the man forced her to live with him.
When her case drew public attention, she retracted her police report and her husband took her back.
RanjanaKumari with India's Center for Social Research says the exploitation ofwomen is common in the region. And, she says, there is little supportfor women in India who have the courage to file a case with authorities.
"Nobody'sgoing to support or help them," Kumari says. "If a family decides notto help them, the system is already not so sensitized towards them,whether it is police, judiciary, whether the legal system. So the womenthemselves tend to withdraw these cases."
In another village, another story involving another farmer, and money lender.
"I sold my water engine and land and gave back his 30,000 rupees," the farmer says, describing his $600 loan payment.
Thefarmer, whom CNN is not identifying to protect his wife and children,says the lender then asked him to send his wife to help with choreswhile the lender's wife was sick. The farmer says he complied, and hischildren -- including his daughter -- went too.
But the mothernever returned. The farmer says he believes she was stolen from him.The daughter says the lender sold her mother to another man.
Stateauthorities say they have investigated the matter and found that themother denies she was sold and has simply gone to live with a lover.
Thedaughter says that's not true, and claims that she and her father weretold to keep quiet by some of the village leaders. During CNN'sinterview with the family, officials with the state magistrate's officebarged into the farmer's home and began videotaping.
An Indiangovernment report completed in 1998 says the region is prone to what itcalls "atrocities," including the buying and selling of women.
However no one can say just how common these kinds of incidents are.
Socialworkers say this isn't just about poverty, but also an indication ofthe low social status of women in poverty-stricken areas such asBundelkhand.
"Those women are very vulnerable to all kinds ofphysical and sexual exploitation." Kumari says. "Also there is muchhigher level of violence against women in that area."
Thegovernment and charities have been trying to help but the status ofwomen and girls, often illiterate and seen as a financial burden,remains low. Nevertheless, attitudes are slowly beginning to change,Kumari says.
A farmer's wife in yet another village in the region said she was sold by her own parents 14 years ago.
"My mother and father got 10,000 rupees (about $200)," she says. "That's why they sold me."
Shesays she was 12 years old at the time her husband bought her. She neverconsidered going to authorities because she says she had no where elseto go. She accepted it as her destiny.
But now she has a daughter of her own and her perspective has changed.
Would she allow her daughter to be sold?
She looked up and shook her head firmly.
"No," she said, "I would not want this for her. Let her marry however she wants."
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