Five more farmers end lives in Vidarbha
Sunday, Oct 20, 2013, 6:45 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Five farmers ended their lives in the last 24 hours in west Vidarbha, while eight
others from the same region committed suicide during the recently concluded Dusshera festival.
The suicides have taken the death toll to 668 in Vidarbha, although sources at the divisional commissioner’s office admit that the actual death toll may be much higher.
Drought and incessant rains have seen repeated crop loss in the region, leaving many distressed farmers in huge debt. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who announced a relief package of Rs 2,000 crore, and union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar’s visits to the region have not provided any relief to the farmers, as the aid that was promised is yet to reach them.
Despite special packages, like the PM’s Rs3,750-crore package, the suicides haven’t stopped.
The deaths were reported in Boregoan village, Punwat village in Yavatmal and Amala village in Wardha amongst others.
“The government needs to look at this problem in a holistic socio-economic manner. Right now, the approach is simply crisis management and that too is not being done properly,” pointed out activist Kishore Tiwari of the farm rights advocacy group Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti. “Dussehra went by with no relief and now, it looks like the farmers are staring at a black Diwali this year while bureaucrats, politicians and officials of the agro MNCs who have achieved their ‘targets’ will be celebrating.” Repeated attempts to speak to the relief and rehabilitation minister Patangrao Kadam were unsuccessful.
Toll this year is 668
The deceased in the recent incidents include Mahadeo Mahakulkar of Boregoan village and Mahadeo Paikhan of Punwat village in Yavatmal, Vishnu Mahadeo Satpute of village Amala in Wardha, Rambhau Bonde of Rantapur village in Amaravti and Sampat Jinda Lore of Wadner village in Amaravati, amongst others.