Saturday, March 26, 2011

‘Centre to probe bungling of PM grant for Vidarbha’-Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Nagpur, March 26, 2011

The deputy chairman of Planning commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, said on Saturday that a Central team would probe the complaints of bungling of prime minister relief funds meant for the distressed farmers of six agrarian crisis-stricken districts of Vidarbha.

Ahuwalia said that there were complaints about the implementation of Rs 3,750-crore PM relief package to check the farmers’ suicide in Vidarbha.

The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had visited Vidarbha region in mid-2006 and announced a bail-out package of Rs 3750 crore. However, the tragedy is still continuing despite the relief package. Over, 7500 farmers have ended their lives because of agrarian crisis since 2001.

The Planning Commission’s deputy chairman expressed concern over the continuous farm suicide in the region and said that the central team would probe the matter in detail.

Speaking at a function held earlier in the day, Ahluwalia said that if the country achieves capacity addition of 52,000 MW power generations by the end of 11th Five-Year Plan in 2012 despite much higher projection, it would certainly be an achievement.

The union government had revised its target of power capacity addition to 90,000 MW in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12) in order to meet the growing demand of electricity in the country. The projections for power sector in the 11th plan were "unrealistic" and had to be scaled down, he pointed out.

According to him, initially the target was fixed for 78,000 MW of additional capacity, and then it was revised to 90,000. But within two years it was scaled down to 62,000, and now even if the country could add 52,000 MW, it would be a laudable effort.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Maharashtra Budget ignored Dying Vidarbha

Maharashtra Budget ignored Dying Vidarbha

Nagpur -23th march 2011

Maharashtra state budget for the year 2011-12 presented by State Finance Minister Ajit Pawar in the Maharashtra Assembly has ignored the 3 million debt trapped cotton farmers as state owned debt touched Rs.231,000 crore during fiscal 2010-11.

“As 3 million cotton farmers have lost cotton crop this year ,it was expected that state to address on going agrarian crisis will give bailout package as earlier relief packages most of fund for distressed farmers have siphoned out corrupt babus but nothing has been given hence we are disappointed.the state has failed to give much awaited food security and health security to dying cotton farmers and more than 10,000 farm widows and family members of framers who committed suicide since 2005 ,this is much more disturbing” Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti(VJAS) informed in press release.

“We welcome the decision to give zero % crop loan up to Rs.50,000/- and 2% interest up to Rs.3lakh but this facility can be availed by the farmers who are regular with banks hence to order to extend this facility to debt trapped farmers who are facing crop failure since 2009-10 and 11 in vidarbha we have been demanding the bailout package to those farmers who are not covered by state owned banks and forced to crop loan from local money lenders and private MFI and that’s area of discontent with announcement of budget .state failed to address the long pending demand of credit and cost protection to dry land farmers who are innocent victims of market forces ” Tiwari added.

VJAS has also flays the rosy announcement of creating irrigation facility another 2 lakh hector as most of money available under AIBP from Govt. of India has been siphoned out same finance minister more over there is official backlog of irrigation project in vidarbha which needs more than Rs.60,000 crore alone but state which has compulsory expenses of 80% of income in the salaries and administrative overheads and remaining 20% of income will go for the paying interest on state owned debt amounting Rs.231,000 crore during fiscal 2010-11.where is fund available from planed budget?.. Tiwari asked.

‘we are unhappy over salient of state Govt. about scheme of Rs.1 kilo wheat and rise as promised at the time of election where there is no new scheme for upliftment tribal and other tribes where as state provisioning of socials security and health services are peanuts .Maharashtra Govt. flagship project MIHAN in Nagpur has given only Rs.70 crore as against demand Rs.2000 crore that gives indication that state is winding up the project another step motherly treatment to vidarbha” Tiwari said.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Farmers' widows get a helping hand-TIMES OF INDIA

Printed from

Farmers' widows get a helping hand

MUMBAI: Former director-general of police A N Roy, along with a few NGOs, on Monday embarked on a new mission to help the impoverished widows of farmers from Wardha and Yavatmal districts.

on Monday embarked on a new mission. Accompanied by nominees of a section of NGOs, Roy has now taken up the cause of the widows of farmers from the suicide-prone Wardha and Yavatmal districts.

"Certainly, it is a difficult task. We have drafted an ambitious rehabilitation plan for the widows. Financial assistance will be provided by the NGOs and also my own fund. On Monday, we handed over cheques of a nominal amount to 90 widows from Wardha district," Roy told TOI. He said by doing this, he was merely trying to understand the plight of framers in the Vidarbha region. "We are not claiming to rehabilitate all the farmers in distress, but our effort will at least take care of those widows who are now steeped in poverty," he added.

After a few NGOs and Bajaj Foundation conducted a survey in Yavatmal and Wardha, it was decided that a scheme should be drafted that would help the farmers' widows earn some extra money, besides what they get from their regular livelihood. "We identified new schemes for the widows.Our aim is to help these women start small businesses and we will provide them with the basic finance. The amount will be little, but it will be paid on a regular basis," Roy said. The former IPS official came up with the business proposal for the widows after some of the women themselves came forward with the idea, during one of his visits to the villages. "They want to open a grocery shop, a dairy unit or a tailoring shop. We appreciated their idea and a part of the funds has been given to them," he said.

Roy incidentally decided to work for these impoverished farmers and their families when he first took over the post of the DGP. During his first visit to Yavatmal, which had recorded the highest number of farmer suicides in the country, he had decided that after retirement, he would take up the cause of the widows. "Though not all the widows, but some of them will certainly be provided with a comprehensive rehabilitation plan," Roy added.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

मीनाक्षी दहिवलेंची हत्या.. या प्रवृत्ती ठेचून काढा!-चंद्रकांत ढाकुलकर

मीनाक्षी दहिवलेंची हत्या.. या प्रवृत्ती ठेचून काढा!
चंद्रकांत ढाकुलकर
भंडारा जिल्ह्य़ातील अडय़ाळजवळ गोलेवाडी गावात दारूबंदीसाठी गेलेल्या कार्यकर्तीचा दारू विक्रेत्या महिलेने गळा दाबून खून केल्यामुळे साऱ्या सामाजिक कार्यकर्त्यांच्या असुरक्षिततेचा प्रश्न पुन्हा ऐरणीवर आला आहे. गोलेवाडी हे तंटामुक्तीसाठी पुरस्कार प्राप्त गाव आहे, हे विशेष. अशा गावात दारू अड्डे राजरोसपणे सुरू रहावेत, हे या पुरस्कारवर धब्बा लावणारी बाब आहे. तंटा-वखेडा तर दूरच, पण प्रत्यक्ष खूनच केला जावा, ही सामाजिक क्षेत्रासाठी चिंतनीय बाब ठरली आहे. त्यातही चंद्रपूर, गडचिरोली, यवतमाळ, भंडारा, वर्धा अन् विदर्भाच्या अन्य कानाकोपऱ्यात दारूबंदीसाठी वातावरण निर्माण होत असताना असे अघटित घडावे, ही या चळवळीलाही धक्का पोहोचवणारी घटना ठरली आहे. या प्रवृत्ती वेळीच ठेचल्या तरच ठीक.
अप्पर जिल्हाधिकारी यशवंत सोनवणे यांच्यासारख्या अधिकाऱ्याला जिवंत जाळले जाते, त्याही आधी पुण्याजवळ अण्णा हजारेच्या भ्रष्टाचार निर्मूलनाच्या चळवळीतीलकार्यकर्त्यांचा सतीश शेट्टी यांचा निर्घृण खून केला जावा, दारूबंदी आंदोलनातील कार्यकर्त्यांंवर मारेकरी सोडले जावे, उमरेडजवळ राजूरवाडीसारख्या लहानशा पारधी गावात पोलिसांनी पन्ना राजपूतसारख्या जुन्या जाणत्या कार्यकर्त्यांसह साऱ्या पारध्यांना रॉकेल माफिया ठरवून अन्याय अत्याचार केला जावा, ही वस्ती उद्ध्वस्त करावी, ही सारी कशाची लक्षणे समजावी, याचे उत्तर संबंधितांनी दिली पाहिजे. भरीस भर म्हणून की काय, परवा नागपुरात अभियांत्रिकीच्या विद्यार्थिनीचा भरदिवसा शेकडो लोकांसमक्ष निर्घृण खून करण्यात आल्याने समाजमन सून्न झाले आहे. नागपुरातील गेल्या महिन्याभरातील घटना बघता या शहरावर पोलिसी वचक राहिला आहे, असे अजिबात म्हणवत नाही. साऱ्या विद्याíथनींसह पालकांना या घटनेने घोर लावलेला आहे. त्यातही परगावाहून शिकण्यासाठी शहरात येणाऱ्या विद्याíथनी आणि त्यांच्या पालकांची या घटनेने झोप उडवलेली आहे. आता कुठे सावित्रीच्या लेकीबाळी शिक्षणासाठी उंबरठा ओलांडून घराबाहेर पडू लागलेल्या असतांनाच असे घडावे, यामुळे त्यांच्या प्रगतीला खीळ बसतो की काय, अशी स्थिती निर्माण झाली आहे.
गेल्या कित्येक वर्षांपासून ज्येष्ठ सामाजिक कार्यकर्ते डॉ. अभय व राणी बंग यांनी दारूबंदीसाठी गडचिरोली जिल्ह्य़ात आवाज बुलंद केला, पण त्यांना महाराष्ट्र भूषण पुरस्काराने सन्मानित करणाऱ्या या शासनाच्या कानापर्यंत तो आवाज काही अद्याप पोहोचलेला नाही. विधिमंडळाच्या गेल्या हिवाळी अधिवेशनात याचसाठी श्रमिक एल्गार या संस्थेच्या वतीने १०५ किलोमीटरची सुमारे ५ हजार महिला कार्यकर्त्यांची पदयात्रा काढली. डॉ. राणी बंग आणि श्रमिक एल्गारच्या पारोमिता गोस्वामी या खंद्या सामाजिक कार्यकर्त्यांच्या नेतृत्वाखाली ही पदयात्रा विधिमंडळावर धडकली होती. नुकतीच दारूबंदीच्या कारणमीमांसेसाठी समिती स्थापन करण्यात आली, पण त्यात महिलांचा समावेश करण्यात आलेला नव्हता. त्यावरून धुसफूस झाल्यावर आता त्यांचा समावेश करण्याचा विचार पुढे आला आहे. या उशिरा सुचलेल्या शहाणपणामुळे शासनाला ढोपरापासून हात जोडावेसे वाटते. दारूच्या व्यसनामुळे संसाराची राखरांगोळी झालेले हजारो कुटुंबे आहेत. त्याची झळ प्रत्यक्ष महिलांनाच बसलेली असतानाही दारूबंदीवर विचार करणाऱ्या समितीत महिलांनाच डावलण्याची हिंमत शासन करते म्हणजे काय, याचे उत्तर अजूनही कुणी दिलेले नाही. नाही तरी, या देशातील समस्त महिलांच्या खाण्यापिण्याच्या आणि जगण्याचेही निकष या पुरुषप्रधान समाजव्यवस्थेने आजवर घेतलेले आहेत. या हाडमासाच्या जीवाला त्यांनी फक्त गृहीत धरलेले आहे, असेच यावेळीही झाले. स्त्री मनाचा थांग लागत नाही, असे मानसरोगतज्ज्ञ डॉ. सिग्मंड फ्राइड यांनी सांगून ठेवल्यानंतरही या पुरुषप्रधानतेला आजवर जाग म्हणून आलेली नाही.
चंद्रपूर जिल्ह्य़ात दारूबंदीसाठी वातावरण पेटलेले असताना आणि महिलांमध्ये कमालीची जागृती होत असतानाच काही गावांमध्ये त्यांना हुसकावून लावण्यात आलेले आहे. म्हणजे इकडे दारूडय़ा नवरा घरात छळतो अन् बाहेर समाज, असा हा दुहेरी छळ केवळ या चळवळीतल्या महिलांच्या वाटेला आलेला आहे.
आता गोलेवाडीतील अवैध दारूविक्री रोखण्यासाठी गेलेल्या गावातील महिला मंडळ, बचत गट, ग्रामपंचायत समितीच्या ३००-४०० महिला कार्यकर्त्यांवर हा हल्ला झालेला होता. या लहानशा तंटामुक्ती पुरस्कारप्राप्त गावात ४०-४५ दारूअड्डे सुरू होते. ते बंद पाडायचे होते, पण एका महिला दारूविक्रेतीने या कार्यकर्त्यांच्या डोळ्यात तिखट फेकून मीनाक्षी दहिवले या कार्यकर्तीचा चक्क गळा घोटला. त्या जागीच मरण पावल्याने या चळवळीतल्या कार्यकर्त्यांच्या सुरक्षेचा प्रश्न ठसठशीतपणे अधोरेखित झाला आहे.
या कार्यकर्त्यां तर दूरच पण, काही दिवसांपूर्वी या दारूविक्रेत्यांनी पोलिसांनाही मारहाण करून हुसकावून लावल्याची माहिती आहे. एका कार्यकर्त्यांच्या घरावर दगडफेक करण्यात आलेली होती. ही असुरक्षितता वाढत जाणारी आहे. याला वेळीच ठेचले तर मागच्यास ठेच पुढचा शहाणा होण्याची थोडी तरी शक्यता आहे. नाही तर, सारेच मुसळ केरात. शासनाला मात्र यातून मिळणाऱ्या कोटय़वधी रुपयांचा मलिदा ओरपण्यात स्वारस्य आहे, हे लक्षात घ्यावे.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

संपूर्ण दारूबंदीसाठी हजारो महिलांचे जिल्हाधिकाऱ्यांसमोर धरणे-लोकसत्ता

संपूर्ण दारूबंदीसाठी हजारो महिलांचे जिल्हाधिकाऱ्यांसमोर धरणे-लोकसत्ता Print
यवतमाळ, ८ मार्च / वार्ताहर
जागतिक महिला दिनाच्या निमित्ताने जिल्ह्य़ातील हजारो महिलांनी येथील जिल्हाधिकारी कार्यालयासमोर धरणे देऊन यवतमाळ जिल्ह्य़ात संपूर्ण दारूबंदीची मागणी केली. राष्ट्रसंत तुकडोजी महाराज दारूबंदी अभियान व सावित्रीबाई फुले, बचत गट कर्जमुक्ती आंदोलन या मागण्यांसाठी विदर्भ जनआंदोलन समिती, विदर्भ राज्य संघर्ष समिती, राष्ट्रीय स्वाभिमान ट्रस्टसह अखिल भारतीय श्री गुरुदेव सेवा मंडळ यांनी संयुक्तपणे महिलांचे आंदोलन आज केले.
जिल्हाभरातून मोठय़ा संख्येने महिलांशी आंदोलनात सहभागी होण्याआधी मिळेल त्या वाहनाने जिल्हाधिकारी कार्यालयाच्या समोर जमा झाल्या होत्या. प्रारंभी राष्ट्रसंत तुकडोजी महाराज यांच्या भजनाने आंदोलनास सुरुवात झाली. प्रत्येक गावात दारूने हैदोस घातला आहे, शाळा नाही, पण दारूचे दुकान या गावात आहे. मात्र, सरकारला महसूल मिळतो, या कारणाने सरकार त्याकडे दुर्लक्ष करून दारूपासून मिळणारा महसूल कसा वाढेल, याचाच प्रयत्न करत आहे. यापुढे मात्र हे चालणार नाही, असा इशारा यावेळी बोलताना क्रांती धोटे यांनी दिला. विदर्भ जनआंदोलन समितीचे अध्यक्ष किशोर तिवारी यांनी चंद्रपूर जिल्ह्य़ात दारूबंदीचा अभ्यास करण्यासाठी समिती नेमली, पण दारूचे प्रचंड दुष्पपरिणाम दिसत आहे. हजारो कुटुंब उध्वस्त होत आहे. त्याचा अभ्यास ही समिती काय करणार आहे? सर्व चित्र उघड आहे. म्हणून समिती नको थेट दारूबंदी करा, असे तिवारी म्हणाले. १ मे पूर्वी जिल्ह्य़ात सर्वत्र दारूबंदी झाली नाही तर प्रत्येक गावात दारूबंदीच्या विरोधात जोरदार आंदोलन सुरू होईल असे तिवारी म्हणाले.
कोणत्याही कर्जमाफी व व्याजमाफीच्या सवलतीमध्ये बचत गटांचा समावेश करण्यात आला नाही. अनेक बचत गटांना त्यांच्याजवळ चारा पाणी व इतर सुविधा नसतानाही पशुपालन मेंढपाळ उद्योग असे शेतीला पूरक उद्योग शासकीय अधिकाऱ्यांनी दिले. आज या बचत गटावर आर्थिक संकट पसरले आहे. त्यांना जर कर्जमाफी दिली नाही तर शेतकऱ्यांच्या बरोबरच या बचत गटाचे सदस्यही मोठय़ा संख्येने आत्महत्या करतील, असा इशारा तिवारी यांनी दिला. यावेळी राष्ट्रीय स्वाभिमान ट्रस्टचे दिनेश राठोड, अखिल भारतीय श्री गुरुदेव सेवा मंडळाचे अशोक ठाकरे यांनीही विचार व्यक्त केले.
या धरणे कार्यक्रमाच्या अध्यक्ष श्रमिक एल्गार संघटनेच्या पारोमिता गोस्वामी, यांनी दारूबंदी करण्याची इच्छा शासनाची दिसत नाही. आम्ही दारूबंदीसाठी कायदे केले, असे सहकार सतत सांगत असते. या महिलांबाबत अधिकार दिल्याचे वारंवार सांगितले जाते मात्र, दारूबंदीसाठी कार्य करणाऱ्या महिलांची अवस्था अत्यंत वाईट असल्याचे गोस्वामी म्हणाल्या. दारूबंदीसाठी गावात दारू दुकानदार मतदान होऊ देत नाही. महिलांनी या आंदोलनातून मागे हटावे म्हणून त्यांना त्रास दिला जातो. म्हणून दारूबंदीच्या विरोधात सर्व महिलांनी संघटित व्हावे, असे आवाहन त्यांनी केले. या आंदोलनाचे संचालन मोहन जाधव यांनी केले. आंदोलनानंतर जिल्हाधिकारी यांना निवेदन देण्यात आले.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Anti-liquor dharna to mark women's day in Yavatmal

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Anti-liquor dharna to mark women's day in Yavatmal

YAVATMAL: Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishore Tiwari has announced that Kranti Dhote would lead thousands of women from across the district on a one-day dharna in front of the district collector's office on International Women's Day, March 8. "Our two demands are total prohibition in Yavatmal district and waiver of loan dues of Women Self Help Groups active in villages," Kranti Dhote said.

Kishore Tiwari said that he has written to the district collector to extend facilities such as pandal, drinking water, carpet and loud speaker at the dharna venue as they are supporting the collector's earlier recommendations to the Govt.

"This should be viewed as a government-sponsored agitation since Yavatmal is the suicide capital of the country, and the district administration has pointed out that liquor consumption is a major cause of farmers' suicides," Tiwari said.

Kranti Dhote criticised the multi national companies advertising branded liquor products through celebrities on the small screen, which influences the younger generation. She also criticised political bigwigs running liquor dens and manufacturing liquor from food grains in a country like India, where half the population is still starving and struggling for a square meal every day.

"We want a liquor-free society as it is a social evil and affects women and children in households," Kranti said, adding that the government should forget about revenue from the mushrooming country liquor dens and look for an alternative revenue source that does not harm families.

District collector Sanjay Deshmukh has said that over 1.5 crore litres of country liquor is consumed in Yavatmal district annually. As far as revenue generation is concerned, 50% cent of the total sales proceeds of liquor are collected by the government, he said.

"I personally feel that it is a dangerous social evil and women suffer the most due to it," he said and added that it should be prohibited throughout the country. Deshmukh has also confirmed his earlier report to the state government, saying that the root cause of all farmers' suicide is liquor addiction and recommended total prohibition in the district.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Eight Farmers committed suicide during Chief Minister four Days vidarbha ‘Jagran Yatra’

Eight Farmers committed suicide during Chief Minister four Days vidarbha ‘Jagran Yatra’

Nagpur -6th March 2011

“When Maharashtra Chief Minister Prathiraj Chavan was addressing the public meetings in vadrabh since 2nd march as part of ‘Jagran Yatra’(Awaking of farmers),eight more distressed farmers committed suicides that include two farmers from ,village Pahapal in yavatmal during his stay at district rest house namely 1.Vijay Gawande and 2.Pawan Khandare alongwith 3.Ramesh dhote of bhilli and 4. Ramrao Nawalkar of Khurdabad 5.Raju Take of Daryapur 6.Dipak Mankar of khirada in Amaravati,7.Arjun Shelake of Tigha in Buldhana and 8.Mohan Shinde of Sawali in Chandrapur , reported taking toll to 91 in year 2011” Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti(VJAS )informed in press release today

Median visit of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prathiraj Chavan to Yavatmal(vidarbha)epicenter of Indian farmers suicides has disappointed as he failed to announce to any relief to dying vidarbha cotton farmers and 10,000 vidarbha farm widows and family members while addressing the public meeting in Yavatmal in the after who earlier reviewed the vidarbha agrarian crisis with the administration, Tiwari added.

“It was expected that in first visit to dying field of vidarbha Maharashtra Chief Minister Prathiraj Chavan wull provide healing touch to 3 million cotton farmer but nothing has been done by him .he sould have given food security, health security and family pension to the families of farmers who committed suicides n last decade and farm widows are agitating for the same. this is very unfortunate” Tiwari said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prathiraj Chavan has completely salient on the going atrocities of MSDL by restarting the Agir. Discussion drive in last two days and disconnected more 1100 Agri. connections of farmers defaulting the dues who have opted for Rabbi crop as Govt. of Maharashtra policy and orders ,most of farmers are from suicide effected west vidarbha as this was not enough the land development bank has started auctioning tractors of Yavatmal farmers who have been listed as ‘willful default’ even they petition in pending in Nagpur bench of Mumbai High court .These suicides are being triggered by state Govt. as they have restarted forcible recovery drive of bankers debt and started forcible recovery of last five years agriculture pump bills after disconnecting the power supply is the main cause of these suicides, Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti(VJAS )informed in press release today

‘In Yavatmal district alone reported more than 1000 farm suicides in since June 2005 where as vidarbha reported 10,000 farm suicides in that period but while the review of vidarbha crisis Chief Minister Prathiraj Chavan is not discussing agrarian crisis with official where as he has not visited single farm family in which bread earner has committed suicide recently ,this is very unfortunate .we urge him to visit the dying farm widows and staving tribal of west vidarbha ’ Kishore Tiwari added.

‘This year for kharif season 2010-11 cotton production as area under cultivation of Bt.cotton is above 110 lakhs hector and it was estimated and reported by Indian Council Agri. Research(ICAR-CICR) the yield of 375 lakh bales but in reality the cotton crop is lowest in the India and cotton growers of vidarbha are in deep trouble as excessive and record rain and massive floods in cotton cultivating areas which has damaged most of standing Bt.cotton crop and excessive rain has jumped the cultivation cost to double, but expected yield has been reduce to 50% that has disturbed the cotton economy at large ’Kishor Tiwari of VJAS added.

‘VJAS urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Prathiraj Chavan to review the complete collapse of Nationa Rural Health Mission (NRHM) ,Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Programme(MGREGA),massive corruption and malfunction in Integrated Tribal Development Programmer(ITDP)and Integrated Child development Scheme(ICDS )’Tiwari added