Taluk Tehsildar announces dismissal of the loan a moment too late

Unable to repay Rs 65000 loan for daughters nursing studies father ends life
news Saturday, March 19, 2016 - 16:48

Nine years ago when Shintu -hailing from Chenganda Chungath at Cherthala in Alapuzha - decided to pursue higher studies and opted to take a bank loan at her father’s insistence, little did she realize that she will have to repay it at the cost of her father’s life.

Shintu Prasanth -a nurse at a private hospital in Cherthala- lost her 68-year old father Falgunan on Friday when he committed suicide after receiving a legal recovery notice from a bank over repayment of an educational loan.

After completing her schooling, it was Falgunan -a daily wage worker- who compelled Shintu to continue her studies. She took an educational loan of Rs 65,000 from the State Bank of Travancore and enrolled for a degree in Nursing.

She went on to successfully finish the course and got a job first at a private hospital in Ernakulam and then in her home-town itself. Right from the beginning her meagre monthly salary of Rs 4000 was used to pay off various debts, take care of her family as well as sponsor her brother’s studies in a bid to ease off her sick father’s burgeoning financial burdens.

“We could repay only around Rs 20000 till date, as there were other debts too to be repaid.  Now the amount to be repaid is close to a lakh including the  interest. So we simply couldn’t make it,” sobs Shintu’s husband Prashanth -a taxi driver- who along with Shintu struggles daily to make both ends meet.

Prasanth says that the family had kept Falgunan in the dark about the pending loan installments keeping in mind his poor health: “That’s why when all of a sudden he got the revenue recovery notice sent from the taluk office last week, he was utterly shocked. Our case was under consideration in the bank adalat…yet they chose to send a notice which unfortunately landed in the hands of Father.”

Once the news of Falgunan’s unfortunate death spread, in view of the rising discontent among the locals and after a round of compromise talks with local political leaders in the presence of the deputy collector, Cherthala tehsildar R Tulasidharan Nair gave a writ promise for the dismissal of the said loan.

Speaking to The News Minute, Tulasidharan said that though he was aware of the family’s situation, none of the family members -he avers- ever approached him seeking help: “It was only after Falgunan’s death that I came to know that the situation was so bad.”

He also adds that his office did not do anything illegal in this case, as notices are usually sent as part of standard legal procedures.

The bereaved family is now however more pained than ever when they think about how if the loan-dismissal had been done earlier, they would not have lost their loved one in such a tragic manner.

“We had approached the bank on numerous occasions seeking some sort of a concession…Father did not give us more time to approach others too to work out a compromise,” says Prasanth inconsolably.

 

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