Road to debt

  • 30/03/2007

There can be several reasons for taking loans. Anmol Jain's report for the International Labour Organization lists weddings and medical expenses as the primary causes. "There are no medical facilities to speak of in the interiors. A trip to Vikasnagar, the closest developed town, for treatment easily costs more than Rs 5,000. As it is, the health of women in the hills is vulnerable; 25-30 per cent of loans are taken for medical treatment,' says Jain. "But the biggest problem is bride price. They pay between Rs 5,000 and 1,00,000 for a bride and don't have the means for this. The only option is to take a loan,' he adds. Suresh Kumar, an educated labourer says: "There are festivals or social events when we have to offer sacrifices to the gods. There is no option but to mortgage the field or the house, if we have those that is.'

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