PATNA: Two sacks of food grains taken as loan 25 years ago have now become the biggest burden of life for a poor villager in Bihar.
Too poor to make both ends meet, the hapless villager is now being asked to pay a hefty Rs4.80 lakh as interest of the two sacks of food grains so as to free his mud house and three kattha of land which the shrewd lender has now captured. The incident is indicative how the illegal practice of lending still continues in the state.
As per reports, Ramdhani Das, a resident of Madhopur village under Mathurapur panchayat in Jamui district, had taken one sack of rice and one sack of wheat as loan from a co-villager Ranjit Das some 25 years back to bring up his five children—three sons and two daughters, after his wife died. Ramdhani was forced to stay back at his village since the children were too small and couldn’t have lived without him.
He had hoped to pay back the loan soon by working in some other fields but as he got entangled in family assignments, the loan interest began sky-rocketing with each passing year.
15 years later, the lender asked Ramdhani to pay Rs27,000 for his loan but as his poor financial condition prevented him from doing so, he handed over his mud house as well three Katthas of land to the lender for the time being hoping to get them freed soon. But the more he tried to replay the interest, the more it soared.
A couple of days back, Ramdhani received the biggest setback of his life when he was told by the lender that his loan interest has now shot up to Rs4.80lakh! He was also told to pay back the entire amount soon to free his landed properties.
Subsequently, he reported the matter to the local village court but strangely, the court instead of providing him any reprieve asked Ramdhani to get his landed properties registered in the name of the lender and settle the issue pending for the past 25 years. The problem with him is that his family ekes out living by working as labourers.
His lone hope now is the local district administration which has promise to initiate tough action against the modern-day Shylock. “Lending money or grains on interest is an illegal act and we will initiate action against the culprit,” local district magistrate Kaushal Kishore told the media today.
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Courtesy: The Statesman