The relief packages seem to have done a little when it comes to the farmers of Vidarbha, particularly the cotton growers.
Despite another relief package of Rs 6,208 crore announced by CM Ashok Chavan on the concluding day of the Winter Session, 12 more farmers ended their lives in last seven days.
Earlier, the state and prime minister had provided two separate relief packages of Rs 1,050 crore and Rs 3,750 crore respectively in 2006 to bail out Vidarbha farmers. However, the farmers’ suicide continued unabated in Vidarbha and around 2,000 more farmers have killed themselves because of crop failure and debts after both the packages were announced.
Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, which is documenting the farmers’ suicide, alleged that most of the latest victims took the extreme step because they could not sell their raw cotton due to the closure of several centres by the state cotton marketing cooperative federation.