More than 12,000 farmers have been taking their own lives each year since 2013, the government of India told the Supreme Court last year. Many of these suicides—often results of drought conditions and the inability to repay loans—have been reported in Uttar Pradesh's Bundelkhand region. Sometimes, the farmers’ families receive compensation—only a one-time relief.
We visited the family of a farmer in the Lalitpur district of Bundelkhand, who hanged himself from a tree in his field in September 2017. Sanjay, his 14-year-old son, continues to go to school, but he will soon need to take charge of the household earnings to support his mother and sister.