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Crushed under the weight of debt
Vijay Singh in Mumbai | January 28, 2004 02:20 IST
When India was celebrating Republic Day on January 26, Sanjay Nalawade (40) and Parvati (30) committed suicide after making their three children, Haresh (7), Santoshi (3) and Vaishnavi (one-and-a-half years), drink milk laced with pesticide at Pratiksha Nagar, near suburban Sion, in Mumbai.
It was their inability to pay off loans that led them to take this step.
The couple was facing tough times; creditors were constantly knocking on the door, but Sanjay kept requesting them to come later.
Their condition became worse on January 14, when the Prerna Cooperative Credit Society took over their belongings in order to recover a loan amount.
"On Makarsankrati day bank people came to their house and took away their TV set, refrigerator and other belongings," their neighbour Sangeeta Mewad told rediff.com
"Thereafter I never saw Parvati come out of her room. All the time she used to stay in and keep crying," she said.
She added that Parvati even became very ill. "She used to visit her doctor in the night to avoid talking to anyone. We didn't talk to her after January 14. On Sunday the whole family went out and came back in the night."
The incident took place some time between Sunday night and Monday morning.
"After January 14 we didn't talk to the Nalawade family," another neighbour, Mandakini Naykade, said. "They were very simple and had good relations with us. Their kids used to play with my kids."
She added that on January 26 some bank officials came to the Nalavades. "They knocked on their door and when didn't get any reply, they asked us."
Later, the bank officials spoke to some society members and called the police to see what the matter was, she added. "That is how we came to know that the family had committed suicide."
Sub-Inspector Rahul Borade said, "Sanjay himself told bank officials to come on January 26 and take possession of his room to recover the loan amount."
Sanjay separated from his family when he was young and later got married to Parvati, who was from Andhra Pradesh. The family came to know about the marriage only after their first child was born.
Sanjay's elder brother, Sunil, did the cremations, but the family is waiting for the police to hand over Parvati's body. "The police said they would wait for three day for the girl's family members. If they don't come they will give her body to us for cremation," he said.
Sunil said his brother was not very close to the family. "Our second brother, who is handicapped, used to work in his office. He had taken loan from the Prerna Cooperative Society, which is in our native place [Satara, Maharashtra]. He was not paying them for a long time. I met him and told him to make payments. He was very depressed at that time, but I told him to take proper steps to pay off the debt."
Borade said, "We heard that he had taken approximately 24 lakh loan from various institutions, including the Punjab National Bank, Prerna Credit Society and Ghyabdeep Credit Society. They have every rights to recover their loans in a legal manner."
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