Bundelkhand farmers sell wives to fight drought

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Bundelkhand Map
Lucknow, Sep 7: To survive the persistent drought, people in Bundelkhand are compelled to 'mortgage' their wives and daughters to moneylenders.

The Uttar Pardesh Congress organized an investigative team, which would reach Jhansi district of Bundelkhand, 300 kilometres west of Lucknow on Tuesday, Sep 8.

About three years ago, Bhagwati Devi and her husband, Chandrabhan killed moneylender Mahesh Chandra in a village in Jhansi district as the latter was exploiting Bhagwati Devi.

Again, the police caught some men buying poor women in Tikamgarh district of Bundelkhand.

“This has been going on for years in the drought-affected and neglected region. Debt-ridden poor people are forced to mortgage their wives or daughters to private moneylenders," said Raja Bundela, a television and Bollywood star, who is also the president of the Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha.

"If a man is not been able to repay his debt, then he has to give the mortgaged woman to a moneylender."

But the administration always covers such cases terming them as instances of farmer suicides.

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