In December 2016, Hyderabad-based Naveen Kumar decided to travel to his hometown Hanamkonda in Warangal. Little did the founder of ‘ApnaLoanBazar,’ (an online retail loan aggregation platform) know, this trip would change his life.
Speaking to The Better India, he recalls, “The incident is clear in my head. A farmer was found dead. He had committed suicide by consuming pesticide after being cheated by a dealer who sold him adulterated cotton seeds, for a profit of Rs 300. And while the crop had grown in all its beauty, it failed to yield anything. With no option to recover the loss or repay the cost incurred for the crop, the farmer took the drastic step of killing himself.
“To me, it was an absolute shocker that a measly profit of Rs 300 had costed a farmer’s life. It wasn’t the only one. In hushed whispers, every day the news of farmer suicides in the nearby villages would travel to ours.”