When the country celebrates Republic Day, “over 300 widows of farmers who committed suicide and 2000 farmers will congregate at the Maregaon village temple in Yavatmal district to pray and wish that Chavan and Pawar realize the ongoing tragedy before them and take necessary steps to save us,” said Bebitai Bais, President of Vidarbha Farmers’ Widows Association. Maregaon village is where a parliamentary panel headed by MP Basudeo Acharya visited last year to look into the causes of agrarian crisis and submitted its report to the Indian Parliament. “However, nothing came of it,” she says.
The irony of it all, says Tiwari, is that the Maharashtra government is spending millions of rupees on agriculture exhibitions in Nagpur, Yavatmal, Amaravati and Akola whilst Bharatiya Janata Party’s ex-president Nitin Gadkari will organize the Agro-Vision show in February, “denying relief and aid to starving farm widows and their families. Distressed farmers are not being given food security, health care or educational help even after the National Commission for Farmers headed by Dr M. S. Swaminathan and the Dr Narendra Jadhav Committee recommended the same.” The recent Rs 7.78 billion fund announced for drought assistance to Maharasthra has left out any mention of debt-trapped farmers of Vidarbha, said