Widows of farmers observe 'Black Diwali' in Vidarbha
Several widows of farmers, who had earlier committed suicide in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region, observed a "Black Diwali" this time in Yavatmal district.
Hundreds of widows went on a day-long hunger strike yesterday under the scorching sun, and later passed a resolution demanding immediate compensation and relief, along with other facilities, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) activist Kishore Tiwari said in a release today.
VJAS is an advocacy group for farmers in Vidarbha region.
Tiwari said that it was high time that the government implemented relief measures on farmlands on "war-footing".
The protest by widows was organised on the occasion of Diwali in an attempt to highlight the woes and plight of the people in the region, which saw "erosion of around 10 lakh acres of land and damage to crops worth over Rs 20,000 crore this monsoon," he said.
Apart from demanding compensation and relief, the widows and farmland activists have also pressed for facilities like pension schemes, waiving of debts, an increase in relief amount and a hike in minimum support price of cotton to Rs 6,000 per quintal, Tiwari added.