Debt snatches 3 generations of men from Punjab family
BARNALA: The last remaining male member of a Punjab farmers family caught in a 15-year spiral of debt committed suicide on Tuesday — just like his grandfather and father — to leave the two surviving women in their lives fighting battles they lost.
Police said Lovepreet Singh, 22, killed himself in his home at Bhotna village of Barnala district by consuming poison. His act of desperation was apparently triggered by the same reason his grandfather and father had taken their own lives — failure to pay off agricultural loans.
In the span of a decade and a half, the Singhs combined land holdings had shrunk from 12 acres to a little over an acre, investigators said.
Besides having to deal with the pain of losing three generations of the family to suicide, Lovepreets mother Harpal Kaur and sister Manpreet Kaur are now saddled with unpaid loans totalling nearly Rs 7 lakh. “My husbands suicide had made Lovepreet take up farming on a bigger scale in a bid to earn enough to clear our debt. This season, he had taken five acres on lease. But nothing worked out for us. It seems we are cursed as a family,” Harpal said.
Lovepreet didnt study beyond Class XII because he needed to help his father Kulwant in farming whatever was left of their land. He would moonlight as a taxi driver to supplement the family income even as their burden of debt increased.
On January 5 last year, a day before Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh was to launch a debt relief scheme for marginal and small farmers at Mansa, Kulwant ended his life by hanging himself from a tree in his field. He was only 48.
The cycle of misfortune plaguing the family had started almost 15 years before, when Lovepreets grandfather Nahar had taken a loan from a local moneylender. Unable to pay back, the family patriaOriginal Article