Friday, September 14, 2012

petition for the rehabilitation of more than 8000 farmers’s widows and families where farm suicides reported and Govt. aid is denied

Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti
11,Trisaran Nagar, Opposite Somalwar High  School
Ref- vidarbha farmers widows crisis                                            date-15th September ,2012

Hon,Ble Chairman
National Commission for Women.

Ref- petition for the rehabilitation of more than 8000 farmers’s widows and families where farm suicides reported and Govt. aid is denied

Subject- appeal to NCW to take issue of national Farm widows rehabilitation as India has reported more than 2 lakhs 96 thousands farmers suicides including 89000 women farmer suicides (NCRB Data)

Most respected Madam,
1. National Commission for Women.

We are deeply touch with very active and effective working of the National Commission for Women working under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 ( Act No. 20 of 1990 of Govt.of India ) and providing excellent and sensitive services to flights of women’s related to issues of the Constitutional and Legal safeguards for women and  recommend remedial legislative measures, facilitating  redressal of grievances and giving
advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.

2. Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti(VJS)

We are farmers advocacy group working for right of cotton farmers’ who are killing themselves due to on going agrarian crisis since 1997 .VJS  is also working for the welfare and rehabilitation of farmer’s widows and kid who are left behind after bread earner farmer commits suicides .since 2005 in vidarbha alone as per official record more than 8690 farmers committed suicides  due to following reasons as per Govt. of Maharashtra official version and we quote
Brief overview of farmers’ suicides in six districts of Vidarbha

1.The problem of farmers suicides due to agricultural distress, indebtness and crop failures has gained serious proportion since 2004.

2.The most affected districts are Yeotmal, Amravati, Akola, Washim & Buldana in Amravati Division & Wardha in Nagpur Division.

3.As per the figures available till 25th July, 2006 total No. of 1863 farmers have  reportedly committed suicides in above six districts.

 Diagnostic analysis of farmers suicides
1.following institutions have studied the  socio economic causes  of farmers suicides and submitted their reports with prescriptions to the GOM:
2.Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai
3.Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

The common reasons found are:
1. Indebtedness & Related factors
2.  Lack of access to institutional farm credit. Out of 17.64 Lakhs farmers in six districts, only 4.48 Lakhs (25.3%) farmers could avail institutional finance in 2005-06
3.  High prevalence of informal credit  by private money lenders and their exorbitant rate of interest (48% to 60% p.a.) &  mortgaging/grabbing of indebted farmers Agri. lands by executing illegal sale deeds/coercion.
4.  Higher rate of interest due to three tier cooperative credit system e.g. upto 12.5% to 14% till last year
5.  Apathy of Nationalized bank to disburse sufficient crop credit as per RBI guidelines. Large scale defaults in rural sector & fear of NPA by Banks

Diagnostic analysis of farmers suicides

Agrarian Distress: Crop Failures & Yield Losses

1. Break down of meteorological cycle of rainfall since 2001. Recurrent droughts, late and deficient monsoon &  erratic distribution of  rainfall  compelling  farmers to go for double or triple sowings and excessive input costs incurred thereon.

2.Agriculture in Vidarbha primarily rainfed, 93% of area under dryland farming. Productivity per acre extremely low, lower remunerative prices to form produce, hence net return per acre very poor. Risk and vulnerability of farmers to natural calamities and price shock is very high.
3.Lack of irrigation facilities. 98% of farmers having committed suicides had absolutely no irrigation facilities.
4. Single Cropping Pattern and traditional over dependence of mono crop i.e. Cotton.  Soyabean prices depressed since 2004
5. Lack of allied agricultural activities & supplementary income from sectors like  dairy, fisheries, poultry, sericulture etc. in the six districts
Diagnostic analysis of farmers suicides
1.High Cost of Cotton Cultivation:
2. Excessive consumption of costly inputs in cotton cultivation
3.Disproportionate hike in the Input prices
4.price shock & poor price realization to Vidarbha’s cotton farmers due to depressed international pricing of cotton, which remains much less than cost of production of cotton due to heavy domestic subsidy by US Government.

Psycho-Sociological Factors:

1. Precipitation of  farmers’ distress due to family discords, marriage problems of adult daughters, chronic diseases within the family
2Alcoholism & prevalence of various addictions
3. Depression due to loss of social and economic status

4. Lack of societal and community fall back
5.Unwillingness of landed farmers for wage labour works e.g. EGS & NREGS predominantly incidence of suicides of landed farmers are quite high compared to Landless and Agricultural labourers.

We are bringing very pathetic condition of these farm widows with open letter written by one farm widows and published national daily
iconimg Saturday, September 15, 2012
Harinder Baweja, Hindustan Times
September 08, 2012
Dear Prime Minister, Chief Minister of Maharashtra & fellow countrymen,

Read this, don’t turn the page. I am a cotton widow from Vidarbha – yes, I know you’ve been hearing about farmer suicides in this region for years, but I really do need urgent help. Just yesterday, four farmers committed suicide while Ajit Pawar, the deputy chief minister was here for a janata darbar. We need you to pay attention. I live in village Huira, near Panderkawda, 150 kms from Nagpur. My husband and I were eking out a living, somehow managing two meals a day. I could only feed my son and two daughters dal and rice every day, adding a vegetable to the meal as a bonus, may be once a week, but we were happy with that. I’d say we were even content. We are poor; a BPL family in government records but we had a pucca roof over our heads.  My husband, Chattar Singh Bass, owned four acres of land. He was happy selling the eight to ten quintals of cotton that he grew. But slowly, the costs started escalating. Seeds which were available for Rs. 300 per 500 grams shot up to Rs. 1000. The cost of fertilizers and pesticides also increased and the cultivation costs were higher than the returns. A bank loan was the only option.
One day in 2007, my neighbours barged into my house and told me that Chattar Bass was lying listless in the field. He had gone there, like he did every day, but the pest attack had killed our crop. My husband’s loans had spiralled to 70,000 in a two year period and the dal and rice that we had become so accustomed to – minus the weekly vegetable – appeared an impossibility. Dying had become easier than living.
I had told my husband, we could survive on roti and salt; I’d comforted him by telling him I’d work as a farm labour and bring in Rs. 100 a day but he had become a loan defaulter and the moneylenders squatted at our door. Consuming the pesticide was his way out of the drudgery.
Nothing new, you must be thinking, but put yourself in my shoes, or in those of most households in Yavatmal, Amravati or Wardha. I was perhaps lucky to get the compensation of Rone lakh from the government. After clearing the debt of Rs. 70,000, I was left with only Rs. 30,000, not enough to buy seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and pay the moneylender. Not enough to get back to eating dal and rice. I had to revisit a moneylender and now my son Ganesh is in debt. The pesticide bottle often tempts me, but Ganesh is only 18.

Mr Prime Minister Sir, you had visited us in 2006 and announced a package of Rs. 3750 crore.
Two years later, you had generously offered Rs. 71,860 crore worth of loan waivers for farmers across the country, but the suicides have not stopped. I hope your officials have reported the truth to you: large sums of money have been siphoned off.
Sir, I hope you know that the waiver was meant only for farmers who had taken bank loans but 75% borrow from money lenders. Relief packages were also restricted to farmers who own not more than four hectares but so many of us don’t have farms in our own names. Lata Rathod, who, as widowed this year on August 25. Her husband Hitesh Rathod killed himself but she won’t even get Rs. 1 lakh in compensation because the land is in his brother’s name. Hitesh has left behind a sorry legacy for Lata – debt worth Rs. 96,000. Where is she going to get any money from? Her family now says she might have to become a commercial sex worker.
So many crores have been spent but the number of suicides are only spiraling. More than cotton, we are harvesting death. I also need to let you know that the administration sometimes say that the death are due to excessive alcohol or domestic tiffs but can you afford to make us part of a statistical game. Does it not bother you’ll that our shrouds are woven from the same cotton that we grow; that we are the aam aadmi your government likes to showcase. Hitesh Rathod did not drink himself to death, but which official will believe that? They have developed immunity to a story that is more than a decade old.
Sir, do you know that 2012 has aggravated the crisis? We sowed cotton in May and June but the crop died due to lack of rain. We borrowed money to buy more seeds and the unseasonal rain has killed the second crop. This double blow has led to a spate of suicides. Vidarbha has already recorded 530 deaths.
Sirs, can I plead with you to repackage our future? Make water conservation a mass movement. Do not earmark more money for irrigation projects, for despite the crores you might spend, irrigation will not benefit a majority of us. Please give us a decent minimum support price. Increase it from the current Rs. 3900 per quintal. Just before the election in 2009, the loan waivers were announced. If you are planning another one, do remember that most of us are bank defaulters. Lastly, we are willing to diversify but don’t have the means. Help us raise greenhouses. We can grow flowers and send them to the cities. Sir, if nothing else, they will make your houses look prettier.’’
On behalf of the dead and the living,
Yours till I can hold on,
Baby Bassi,
resident of Yavatmal,


As average age of these farmer widows turned women farmer there very serious issue which till not being attendee by Govt. hence we are moved NCW for giving the justice to thousand vidarbha farmers widows and it is prayed that


VJS request team of NCW to visit most farm suicide report region on vidrabha that is Yavtmal District and arrange for National Hearing of farmers widows and kin in the families where women farmer committed suicides and denied any relief aid and discuss basic issue of
1. Food security
2. Health care
3. Livelyhhod support
4. Child education
5. Land right
6. Credit restoretion.
7. Provision of family pension.
8. Secondary support activity.
9. Daughter marriage.
10. Remarriage of young farm widows.

We request NCW to provide legal status to legitimate demands of these innocent vidarbha afarm widows and women farmers who are victims of wrong policies of states these are following demands  which are listed to taken with Govt. of India 

A Woman Farmer Certificate issued by the gram panchayat, after the approval of the gram sabha and authenticated by the village administrative officer or an authorized officer of the gram panchayat as prescribed in the Rules, shall be the conclusive proof of declaring a person as a woman farmer.
    In case of urban or peri-urban areas, the Certificate shall be issued by the urban local body with the approval of any corresponding authority as notified under the Rules made under this Act.
  Provided that a group of women farmers may obtain the Group Women Farmers’ Certificate in the same process as mentioned in this Section and the Rules.
The woman farmer certificate issued under Section 3 shall be accepted as evidence for the purposes of establishing the status of a person as a woman farmer under this Act including in all administrative and judicial proceedings.

Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, every woman shall have equal ownership and inheritance rights over agricultural land in her husband’s family.
A woman farmer shall have equal right, as enjoyed by male farmers, to all water rights connected with the agricultural land to which she is the owner, shareholder, possessor or uses for farming activity and shall have access to water, water resources and irrigation facilities for carrying out agricultural activities as defined in this Act. Woman farmers shall not be discriminated on the grounds of marital status, caste, ownership or possession of agricultural land while accessing water resources for irrigation purposes.

(i)  Every woman farmer or group of women farmers who have a Certificate of Woman Farmer from the appropriate authority shall be entitled to Kisan Credit Card now available mainly to male farmers.
(ii) a man farmer or group of women farmers shall be entitled to borrow money and other financial support for agricultural activity either on her own capacity or as a member of a women group as laid down in the Rules without any discrimination on the grounds of marital status, place of residence, caste, religion, or absence of collateral security.
(i)A Central Agricultural Development Fund for Women Farmers (CADFWF) shall be set up under the Act which shall be used to empower women farmers namely, incentives for development of women farmer friendly technologies, training and capacity building, creation of market facilities, organization of crèches and day care centres, social security for women farmers, old age pensions and other related issues as mentioned in the Rules.
(ii)The Fund shall operate at the Central, State and District levels and shall be administered under the guidance of an appropriate Authority appointed by the Central Government at the central level and authorities appointed by the State Governments at the State and District level Funds, as laid down in the Rules.
(iii)The Fund shall receive contributions and grants from the Central and State governments, user fees, etc., as specified under the Rules and guidelines of the Act.
(iv)The Authority shall support individual and groups of women farmers organized in the form of registered women’s cooperatives or Mahila Kisan Kendras as per the guidelines framed under the Act.
(v)The appropriate authority shall frame guidelines for distribution and utilization of the Fund.
(vi)The Central Government shall device a scheme for social security for women farmers, especially old age pensions as specified in the Rules.
(vii)The appropriate authority of the Fund shall also have the power to secure lands from the government and other sources for distribution of lands to women farmers as provided in the Rules and guidelines.

Hence NCW fact finding team is kindly requested to visit  Vidarbha and study pathetic condition these dying farm widows and families where women farmers committed suicide hence this  appeal mailed to you

Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,

Kishore Tiwari
Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti

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