It was the third year in a row that cotton crops have failed – first due to a year of drought and then two years of untimely rain. Farmers have no resources left and no idea on how they will repay their creditors and the banks. Unseasonal rainfall and hailstorms in many parts of India in recent weeks have destroyed crops, putting further strain on impoverished farmers and driving many of them to kill themselves. In the first four months of this year, 257 farmers in Maharashtra alone have taken their own lives. The state pays compensation of about $1,500 to families which are struggling after a farmer has committed suicide. In the past 20 years, nearly 300,000 farmers have committed suicide according to the National Crime Records Bureau.