Agra : As many as 20 suicides were recorded in Agra in a span of one month from April 20 — and a large number were due to sheer penury.
Kedar Singh of Bhilavali village and another farmer in Fatehpur Sikri ended their lives due to poverty. Several farmers in Agra have suffered heavy losses due to inclement weather and are under pressure to pay back moneylenders.
Bhagwan Devi of Sohalla in Sardar area killed herself when she found that her family responsibilities were beyond her capacity, with five kids to feed. A Shah Ganj roadside vendor also committed suicide.
Newly elected Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has directed district authorities to ensure that there are no more deaths due to harassment from banks or lack of food and related economic issues.
Agra's new District Magistrate Mukesh Kumar Meshram Saturday directed development functionaries to ensure that no one died of hunger or exploitation. He said food banks would be set up soon in villages.
"The plan to create food banks with the help village panchayats will be speedily implemented to provide relief and succour promptly," Meshram said.
The sudden spurt in the number of suicides has also baffled psychologists and sociologists in the Taj Mahal city, and they don't rule out the severe heat conditions either.