July 8

Analysis: Rural India Sinks Deeper into Debt as COVID-19 Wipes Out Work


Asha Devi doesn’t remember how many meals she has skipped as she struggles to feed her family of seven in a remote corner of northern India where the novel coronavirus is compounding old problems of rural debt and poverty.

Devi, 35, had to mortgage her land for a 20,000 rupee ($270) loan and six month on, as the money runs out, she has stopped buying milk, halved her use of cooking oil and can afford lentils only about once every 10 days.

With her construction worker husband jobless, she’s facing going deeper into debt to get by.

“Sometimes I go to sleep hungry. Last week, I think I went to bed hungry at least twice but I can’t remember,” Devi told Reuters as she wiped away tears with her threadbare sari outside her mud house in her village in Uttar Pradesh state.

Photo courtesy of nicolasdebraypointcom.


Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)