Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No help only survey-State's fresh survey of distressed Vidarbha farmers-Times of India

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State's fresh survey of distressed Vidarbha farmers
13 May 2009, 0642 hrs IST, Ramu Bhagwat, TNN

NAGPUR: The state government may undertake yet another massive door-to-door survey of the over 18 lakh farmer families in the six distressed districts of Vidarbha hit by the farmer suicide crisis.

This decision was communicated by the government to the state human rights commission last week. The commission headed by former chief justice Kshitij Vyas was told about the decision following a directive issued by the commission to the state government to implement the Narendra Jadhav report.

The human rights body of the state , while hearing a pending petition filed by Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, expressed surprise that the Jadhav report which the government had accepted over six months ago was yet to be implemented.

Jadhav had recommended urgent measures like food security, quality healthcare, better educational facilities and a regulator for monitoring farm credit flow to the six distressed districts. The special relief packages had been announced by the prime minister in 2006 for these districts, and the state government has done little to rescue farmers from economic distress.

Strangely, the state has sought some time claiming that it would conduct a fresh survey of beneficiaries of the relief schemes. The earlier and first of its kind of door-to-door survey was conducted in April-May 2006 under the leadership of the then Amravati divisional commissioner Sudhir Kumar Goyal. Widely hailed for the disturbing data it brought to fore, the survey had identified around four lakh farmers living under serious financial stress, on the verge of desperation and needing urgent relief. It was a massive exercise involving the huge state government machinery.

The fact that another survey will be conducted is nothing but buying time, alleged Tiwari.

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