Seeds of Despair

It might have been borrowing another $100 just to keep his family going that finally convinced Pravin Bakkamwar to end his life. Or maybe it was knowing that he needed to find a husband for his 18-year-old sister Suwarana, and then pay her dowry and arrange a suitable wedding—responsibilities that would push him further into debt. What his family knows is this: on a sunny morning in central India in late November last year, Pravin, 27, rode his motorbike to a nearby town, bought a few meters of red and yellow nylon cord, returned to his gently sloping cotton farm and...

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