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.


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