5 Vidarbha farmers end life; toll 275 in last three months
NAGPUR: In a sudden jump, five suicides by farmers were reported in the last 24 hours in Vidarbha reflecting the grim situation. This year has been particularly bad as inadequate rains led to a drought-like situation ruining Kharif crop and then hailstorm and unseasonal rains destroyed standing Rabi crops. The recurring crop losses, mounting debts and very low prices for main crops of cotton, soyabean and paddy have added to the rural distress, reflecting in spurt in farmers' suicides in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of the state.
According to Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, an NGO that monitors the agrarian crisis, the latest victims from the region were identified as Bapurao Dongare of village Murad in Akola, Devrao Dongarwar of Khanod in Bhandara, Sarjerao Tthag of Dighi in Buldhana, Maroti Rathod of Sharad and a Kolam tribe woman Sonubai Tekam of village Kodori in Yavatmal. Shockingly, the divisional commissioner's office in Amravati, which compiles the farmer suicide figures in six distressed districts of Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Wardha and Washim, has reported that 275 farmers have committed suicide in the first three months of the current year.
According to Samiti president Kishore Tiwari, the latest survey conducted in the affected areas has indicated that around 4.34 lakh farmers were suffering from acute distress and were living on the edge showing suicidal tendencies. The first such door-to-door survey conducted by the state government in 2006 had shown that around 3 lakh farmers suffered from acute distress. Apparently, despite the measures like total loan waiver after the then prime minister Manmohan Singh visited the area, the distress levels have only increased.