‘KBC’ Special on vidarbha farm widows- BigB expresses Anguish over Agrarian Crisis
Nagpur-12th September 2011
It was dream for distressed and debt ridden vidarbha farmer widows and kin to sit on hot seat in the most TRP rated and viewed show ‘KBC’ hosted by megastar of Indian bollywood Amitabh Bachchancame true on last Saturday when special show was arranged to by KBC team to show plights of Indian farmers widows and kids and to give healing touch to these families facing starvation and poverty .Having seen plights of vidarbha farm widows Amitabh Bachchan was so disturbed that forced him write the it own his blog where he expressed his aguish and pain over gloom and despair of diseased families whose brae earner have committed suicide in agrarian crisis .
In India as per official record of ministry home affairs in last decade more than 2 lakh 24 thousand farmers committed suicide mostly due debt and cash crop failure in the dry rain fed area of India in which cotton growing belt Maharashtra known as west-vidarbha also popular as farm suicide capital of India as one farmer is committing at the rate of every eight hours since 2005 taking toll to more than 12000 and Indian Govt. has announced relief packages amounting Rs.10,000 crore but failed to address crisis to stop spiral of farm suicides that prompted KBC team to invited farm widows and deceased farmers daughter to participate in special show of KBC being aired in last week of September .
In special show of KBC farmers widows of village Arpana Malikar (09405493146)age-27 ,mother of two daughters age 7 and 3 whose husband Sanjay progressive cotton farmer of village Vara-Kawatha committed suicide due massive debt and crop failure and Manjusha Ambarwar (09552726952) age-18 whose father Ramdas Ambarwar who was first victim of vidarbha agrarian crisis and killed himself in 1999 from village Talang-Talki both from worst hit Yavatmal district which has recorded maximum suicides since 2005 were especially invited to take part in KBC show .
‘It was amazing to go to Mumbai by plane then to stay in five star hostel lastly to meet Amitabh Bachchan and take part in KBC ,till we are thinking it as dream ,this show will change my life and will save my daughters an daughter hundreds of farm widows of vidarbha region who are facing starvation and being exploited due to poverty .we are indebted to KBC and Amitabh Bachchan specially who was kind to us to listen our painful stories of ill-fated life and extended full hearted support to all my sisters whoare victim vidarbha agrarian crisis and lost bread earner ,we are very delighted with healing touch given by KBC and Amitabh Bachchan particular’ Arpana Malikar was talking to us after returning from Mumbai on Sunday afternoon in Nagpur.
‘Arpana Malikar was very nervous so as case with me when we saw mega show setup and when she went to hot seat ,she was very much scared to speak with Abhitabh Bachan and broke down when she was asked to recall the past and present struggle of life as she is brave woman farmer of village ,fighting with all odds, made all audience emotional even host was touched a lot ,she gave most of answers and won big price money too but it was most touch movement when Amitabh Bachchan gave us special Rs.50,000/- help and announced to help all other dying vidarbha farm widows too’ Manjusha Ambarwar informed who joined the show as special guest.
KBC host Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his Blog on vidarbha farmer suicide after shooting and I
Jalsa , Mumbai Sept 10/11 , 2011 Sat/ Sun 2 : 10 AM
Yes it is late … but having just finished my work at KBC and devoured a meal, have realized that time has indeed flown by and it is time that I should have been in bed. But … that is a hope. Nothing goes to sleep until the EF have been connected with and with whom is shared the thought for the day.
I am afraid there is not much that can be said after my time spent among the ‘bleeding hearts’ on this wonderful programme. Today was the episode played out to help and assist in any manner possible, those of our country that have had to face personal tragedy and are now in desperate state.
Tonight was the lady who’s husband a farmer in the Vidarbha region, committed suicide because he was unable to repay his loan. Suicides in this region have reached alarming proportions. There are so many of them that are resorting to this form of ending their lives because they are unable to repay their loans and are unable to find a remunerative medium in their business of farming to earn and pay off these amounts. They leave behind a family. They have taken the easy and cowardly way out. But they are gone and they have left behind a whole lot of people that now face the consequences of their absence.
Aparna, the lady who came by for the KBC contest as a special guest has two small daughters aged 7 and 3 and no support from any quarter. Her husband committed suicide to save the embarrassment of not being able to pay back his loan. Aparna now is left all alone. She was not even aware that her husband had taken a loan. She has gathered herself together somehow, and works on the fields in farming and making ends meet. She still keeps her ‘mangalsutra’ on her neck - the necklace worn by Indian women signifying her married status, because she fears harassment from other men, who trouble her with threats and envious motives. But she is resolved. She does not want to give up. She will fight her way through she says, bring up her children, earn her living through the hard work on the fields, build a concrete house, for the present one is weak and old and made of mud and broken tiles and give half of what she earns to the other widows in India, who she says are suffering with similar conditions … just incredible!!
She won Rs 6, 40,000 ! She will clear her loan of Rs 50,000 and shall perhaps repair her home and keep some money aside for the education of her two girls.
I did not have words to be able to express my anguish and grief at this state. But there it was Stark, brutal and honest.
More of this later . I fear I shall drop if I continued further so till then .
Swapna Iyar Co-Producer of this special show toured agrarian crisis hit vidarbha and done excellent ground work for the programme to bring issue before society via -KBC. Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti farm activist group in the region provided basic input for the KBC show on vidarbha agrarian crisis.