Saturday, March 27, 2010

9 farmers end lives in Vidarbha-Hindustan Times.

9 farmers end lives in Vidarbha

TRAGEDY Toll rises to 65 in this month alone


Pradip Kumar Maitra

NAGPUR-27thMarch 2010

Nine more Vidarbha farmers have committed sui- cide in the last 48 hours.

Among the latest victims, two each hail from Wardha and Amravati districts while one each from Yavatmal, Nagpur, Bhandara, Buldhana and Akola districts.

With the death of these nine farmers, the toll has risen to 65 this month alone.

In February 58 farmers had committed suicide.

Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti that has been documenting farmers' sui- cides in the region claimed that these distressed farmers ended lives because of crippling debts and crop failure.

He said that as many as 195 farmers have committed sui- cide so far in 2010 owing to debts, drought and failed crops.
The gravity of the agrarian cri- sis can be gauged from the fact that about 70 farmers have been committing suicide on an aver- age in a month.

Talking to Hindustan Times, Sanjay Deshmukh, district col- lector of Yavatmal said that the district has witnessed the max- imum number of suicides by the farmers this year. “I was told that one Baba Rathod has committed suicide on Friday.
We will verify that whether agrarian crisis was the rea- son behind the suicide,“ he said.

Deshmukh claimed that the district administration had ini- tiated several schemes, including diary and animal husbandry programmes to enhance the income of the poor farmers.

According to Tiwari, more than 7,300 farmers killed them- selves in Maharashtra since 2004. A majority of these farm- ers were from the dry land of Vidarbha region and Marathawada. In view of severe crop failure because of short- fall of rains, more than 20,000 villages have been officially declared drought hit by the state government -- this include 15,460 villages in Vidarbha.

The relief measures announced by the government seem to be restricted to paper only, alleged Tiwari and urged the prime minister to inter- vene into the matter immedi- ately.

The Samiti has now decid- ed to raise the issue before National Human Rights Commission for directing the central and state government to save the dying Vidarbha agrarian community as more than 30 lakh (3 million) farm families are in deep distress and need urgent health care, food security and rural employ- ment and relief measures.


Monday, March 15, 2010

16 Maharashtra farmers commit suicide in a week-Gulf News Report

  • Gulf News

16 Maharashtra farmers commit suicide in a week

Unseasonal rains hit cultivators' hopes

  • By Pamela Raghunath, Correspondent
  • Published: 00:00 March 16, 2010

Mumbai: Sixteen farmers including a woman ended their lives last week in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region where an agrarian crisis has brought despair and extreme distress to over 2 million farming families.

"The tragedy among these families is so great that we have written to Sonia Gandhi, United Progressive Alliance convenor, to draw her attention to this crisis that has forced over 216,000 farmers to commit suicide in India since 1997," Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti or people's revolutionary council, a body that represents farmers, told Gulf News by telephone from Nagpur.

He adds that these are the official figures of the federal government with the majority of the suicides occurring in the dry regions.

"Imagine the condition of the families left behind by these farmers who were the bread winners," he says. A majority of the farmers are from Yavatmal district and the rest from Washim, Amravati, Nagpur, Wardha and Akola. If it wasn't the failure of monsoons in the last few years that brought on successive crop failures, unseasonal rains in the last two to three days in the cotton growing region has further crashed the hopes of farmers."Though the Maharashtra government has officially declared drought in 20,000 villages, there is no money being made available for drought measures by the government," he says.

Since the farmers are said to be food producers, they do not come under the public distribution scheme through which rationed foodstuffs are provided to the poor, he adds. Most of Vidarbha's farmers grow cash crops, that is cotton, he adds. Lack of relief and work has resulted in migration of farmers and the ground situation is worse than in June 2006.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

In the Golden Jubilee Year of Maharashtra ‘facing worst economic crisis’

In the Golden Jubilee Year of Maharashtra ‘facing worst economic crisis’

Nagpur- 12th March 2010,

When last in August 2009,It’s first economic survey of newly elected Govt.,before submitting the Budget Maharashtra Govt. has admitted that state is not economic growth map when it was told that last year Maharashtra lost 2 million jobs in the year 2008-2009,food grain production dropped by 25% before drought has been declared ,outstanding debt mounting to Rs.1,58,520 crore, interest payment on debt is Rs. 12,953 crore,30% drop in employment provided under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), poverty ratio in the State is 30.7 per cent as against All-India average of 27.5 percent and more than 6000 farm suicides and lacs of tribals death due to malnutrition and starvation but same time rosy picture was shown regarding massive job creation and investments in infrastructure ,increase in food crop production ,reduction in the debt and restoration basic facilities to poor like food ,shelter, health ,education and rural employment ,industrial growth but nothing has happened and economical crisis further deepen and in the golden jubilee year of it’s formation Maharashtra is set to face worst economic crisis and fiscal collapse due to poor governance and massive corruption in ministry , Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti(VJAS) president kishor Tiwari informed today regarding economic collapse of Maharashtra and urged central Govt. intervention to avoid systematic failure of fiscal structure of Maharashtra .

VJAS has drawn the attention towards the drought situation in more than 20,000 villages that has effected sharply drop in kharif and raby crop and first food production has like to be drop below 102 lakh MT first time in history of Maharashtra .it was told that Total 14,957 industrial projects with an investment of Rs. 5,04,689 crore and employment potential of about 27.54 lakh have been registered with the GoI to set up units in the State till the end of December, 2008. Out of these, 6,778 projects with an investment of Rs. 1,10,149 crore have already started their production and employment of about 6.93 lakh has been generated. The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for the last five years for investments in registered and commissioned projects is 16.1 and 2.6 per cent respectively but in ground reality nothing has happened.

Regarding power sector growth it was told that ,the total available installed capacity of electricity in the State at the end of March, 2008 was 21,654 MW as against 17,984 MW at the end of March, 2007. During 2008-09, the generation of electricity in the State upto the end of November, 2008 was 51,465 million KWH, higher by 6.0 per cent than that in the corresponding period of 2007-08. The State is facing a power deficit of about 4,500MW. The transmission losses of MAHATRANSCO were 5.0 per cent and the distribution losses of MAHADISCOM were 24.1 per cent during 2007-08 but net incrase in power is almost nil .

Major high light of economic survey was An ambitious project for setting up a world class Multi-modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) is being developed by Maharashtra Airport Development Company Ltd. (MADC), the State owned company. The project covers development of existing domestic airport at Nagpur as an international Passenger and Cargo Hub Airport, along with a huge Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and with overall world class facilities such as road infrastructure, separate road and rail terminal that will handle 14 million passenger traffic and an estimated 8.7 lakh tones of cargo per year. The unique feature of this project is ‘Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO)’ base for comprehensive maintenance of aircraft, the first independent MRO in India but after year MIHAN is turning out to be hoax has it failed to give single job to skilled or unskilled worker of the region more over it has been become land mafia activity centre.

‘As Maharashtra chief Minster Ashok Chavan was full year busy in land allotments and land lease ,touts have taken over the administration and Maharashtra in it’s golden year of creation is going toward bad phase of economic condition of one time very progressive state Maharashtra due to huge mounting debt, massive administrative corruption coupled with administrative failure of present Govt., It’s matter of serious concern of all tax prayer of Maharashtra ’ kishore tiwari of VJAS informed today.

As per last year economic report ,it is informed that the revenue receipts of the State Government are expected to be Rs. 79,911 crore during 2008-09 as against Rs. 79,860 crore during 2007-08. The tax revenue of the State is expected to be Rs. 60,839 crore in which State’s own tax revenue is Rs. 51,893 crore (85 per cent). The non-tax revenue is expected to be Rs. 19,072 crore.The revenue expenditure of the State Government during 2008-09 is expected to be Rs. 78,946 crore, higher by 19 per cent over the previous year, of which interest payment is Rs. 12,953 crore (16.4 per cent).The total outstanding debt during 2008-09 is expected to be Rs. 1,58,520 crore (25.8 percent of the GSDP).The food grains production for kharif and rabi season in the State is estimated to be 117.19 lakh M.T. as a preliminary forecast, less by 24 per cent compared to that of the previous year. A steep fall of 49 per cent is expected in production of oilseeds. Sugarcane production is also expected to be much lower by 43 per cent (at 508.13 lakh M.T.) mainly due to reduction of 30 percent in the harvested area.The estimated employment in the State, based on National Sample Survey, which was on rise till 2004-05 at 4.3 crore, declined to 4.1 crore in 2007-08 clearly indicating the footprints of recession.The employment provided under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) during 2008-09 was 4.2 crore person days as against 6.0 crore person days provided under Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) and NREGS during 2007-08.The poverty estimate provided by the Planning Commission of India, reveal that the poverty ratio in the State during 2004-05 is 30.7 per cent as against All-India average of 27.5 percent. Though the results at various points of time show decline in poverty ratios, the number of persons living below poverty line is gradually increasing since 1973-74 and increased by 12.2 lakh persons in 2004-05 as compared to 1993-94.

Kishore Tiwari of VJAS has asked today to central Govt. to review economic crisis in Maharashtra due to uncontrolled plan and unplanned expenses of state Govt. and on going fiscal deficit of state Govt. as bureaucratic control is of executive is missing and corruption in administration is at it’s peak hence fiscal monitoring and central review is needed..

“this is election year but people of Maharashtra will have to pay cost of political misdeed in future ,more hardship are in pipeline if corrective steps are not taken today” tiwari added.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Farmers' widows want to contest elections-Gulf News Report

World | India

Farmers' widows want to contest elections

Women's organisation hopes to benefit from proposed Women's Reservation Bill

  • By Pamela Raghunath, Correspondent
  • Published: 00:00 March 10, 2010
  • Gulf News

Mumbai: The Women's Reservation Bill has caught the imagination of women across the country and even farmers' widows in Maharashtra's crisis-ridden Vidarbha region want to contest from all reserved constituencies if the Bill is passed.

The Vidarbha Farm Widows Association (VFWA) representing more than 7,000 widows of cotton farmers, who committed suicide since 2001 in the ongoing agrarian crisis, passed a resolution to contest from all the reserved constituencies if the bill is passed, said Bebitai Bais, President, VFWA, from the small town of Hiwara in Yavatmal district.

Life of dignity

"Our aim would be to unite all these farmland widows and 35,000 orphans of Vidarbha whose concerns and problems are common," she said on Monday, after the International Women's Day celebrations. "We must show the world the apathy of the bureaucracy and politicians to our issues and our demands to live a life of dignity," she said.

"The Vidarbha farm widows are a small representation of a total of more than 200,000 widows who are leading a pathetic life in an age when the Indian president, Pratibha Patil, is a woman, the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar is a woman and the UPA Convenor Sonia Gandhi is a widow," said Swarswatibai Ambarwar, Secretary, VFWA.

"It's a matter of national shame that the problems of food, health and education of children of more than 200,000 farm widows are not even discussed in Parliament," she said.

The Vidarbha agrarian crisis was first highlighted in 2005 when 118 suicides were officially registered from the region.


This prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to send agriculture expert M.S. Swaminathan there who reported in September the crisis that year was severe. Since then, aid packages, including a massive one of loan waiver package of Rs700 billion (Dh58.33 billion) on an all-India basis in February 2008 have failed to stem the suicide rate. The suicides continued unabated — 440 in 2004, 450 in 2005, 1,640 in 2006, 1,468 in 2007, 1,500 in 2008, 1086 in 2009 and 223 so far in 2010.

"We are disturbed when we watch the rosy picture of progress made by Indian women when millions of farm women have to struggle for a survival," says Bais.