Bt.cotton failure : Seven Vidarbha Farmers suicides in last 72 hours due to Crop Damage and Toxic Pesticide claims 28 Farm Workers in this month in Yavatmal alone
When Bt.cotton seed companies are painting rosy picture of changing vidarbha cotton farmers economy, claiming bumper crop in some of section of media same time in last 72 hours seven more vidarbha farmers killed themselves due to Bt.cotton damages after massive pest attack ruined crop even after cotton farmers did more than 4 to 5 spray of very toxic pesticide resulting in more than 28 farm labourers death in last 30 days in most effected Yavatmal district alone due to unscrupulous and unprotected handling of pesticides as per media reports where as administration confirmed these farm labors death due to unknown reason of food poisoning and also admitting that more than 150 farm labors involved in toxic spray handling fallen ill and reported in Govt. run hospitals this month exposing pathetic scenario of dying vidarbha which is under agrarian crisis since 2005 and distressed and despair due to frequent Bt.cotton crop failure resulting the massive debt has been sighted as main reason of this mass genocide of innocent vidarbha farmers.
With the deaths of these seven farmers, the toll has risen to 59 this month alone while the figure was 48 last month. As many as 565 farmers have killed themselves in the region because of agrarian crisis since January this year while the figure was 918 last year, Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti ,farmer’s pressure group working for rights of dying cotton farmers informed in press release today .
The recent victims include father and son from village Kopari in Buldhana identified as
1.Baliram Wagh of Kopari in Buldhana
2.Shivaji Wagh of Kopari in Buldhana
3.Rama Kharat of Giroli in Buldhana.
4.Prakash Jadhav of Koregoan in Buldhana
5.Sunil Choudhary of Karanja inwashim
6.Yashvant Chavan of Sultanpur In Amaravati .
7.Shankar Mudalkar of Yari in Yavatmal
The National Human Rights Commission has already served a notice to the state government for the suicide by seven farmers in three days in the region last week because of agrarian crisis. The NHRC served notice on a petition filed by Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti.
The NHRC asked the state chief secretary to file a report in six weeks after taking note of the media reports claiming that seven farmers committed suicide in three days last week in the region. The NHRC said that if the report was true, it raised a "serious issue" of rights violation of farmers, Tiwari said.
This year initially rain delayed forced farmers for re-sowing then heavy rain and flood has made life of rural vidarbha miserable resulting in very heavy damages to Bt.cotton crop ,now this months attack of pest and mealy bug has further damaged the crop forcing farmers to go for uncontrolled pesticides spray resulting as per media report that 28 workers have died in a span of 30 days due to poisoning due to pesticides. While over 150 persons have fallen victim of the poisoning in the district since August last and it reported that these .Farm labourers, most of them illiterate, are unaware of the health hazards due to unprotected handling of these chemicals. They prepare the pesticide mixture with bare hands before spraying it on the crop. They seldom use masks or gloves and accidentally consume these hazardous chemicals while eating or drinking. However, the effect is not immediate and symptoms appear after a few days. These labourers then approach nearby public health centre from where they are referred to government hospitals or private nursing homes in the Yavatmal city. In many cases, patients have died even before getting proper medical treatment. Reports of deaths due to poisoning are more from the private hospitals. It is pertinent to note that the Govt. of Kerala has even banned the use of most poisonous pesticides like 'Endosalfan' as its use has rendered many innocent permanently disabled or even lost their lives in the past but in vidarbha very toxic internationally banned pesticides are being used openly with Govt. consent, Tiwari added.
‘In Maharashtra Political Parties in power and opposition are raising issue of massive irrigation scam and FDI as a concern for the dying debt trapped farmers but at ground level none of these parties and administration are getting time to look at pathetic condition and reason despair that is killing farmer community and to provide healing touch of food security, crop damage compensation, health facility, sustainable environment friendly agriculture practices and debt relief measures and rural economic and social system restoration which is need of hour’ Tiwari said .