The agrarian crises in Vidarbha’s killing fields drove four more distressed farmers to commit suicide in the last 48 hours.
The victims were identified as: Diwakar Wankhede of Gondburanda (42), Sudam Rathod (40), Warondali (both Yavatmal district), Omkar Paraskar (35) of Takli (Buldhana) and Pramod Gautre (32), Belkhed (Akola). All the farmers swallowed pesticide to end their lives, reports reaching here this evening said.
Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti claimed that these farmers were frustrated as their sowing dried up because of deficient rains in earlier this month and they had no funds for re-sowing.
Tiwari insisted that the government and financial institutions in particular should provide crop loans again to needy farmers so that such suicides could be prevented.
On the other hand, Shravan Hardikar, the Yavatmal district collector claimed that a substantial crop loans were disbursed among farmers in the current kharif season. “An amount of Rs 550-crore crop loans were disbursed among farmers in the district since June this year so that farmers don’t fall into the trap of moneylenders,” he pointed out.
However, he said that there were lots of complaints against the nationalized banks for their non-cooperation to disburse crop loans this season. “We have taken two meetings with the bank officials in this regard and directed them to fulfill the target,” he informed.
Answering a question, Hardikar admitted that six farmers were committed suicides because of agrarian crisis this week. “We are holding a meeting on August 2 in this connection and analysis the issue,” he added.
An average two farmers commit suicide every day in Vidarbha because of agrarian crisis and the figure may go up if the state fails to take preventive measures, warns Tiwari whose organization--Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti--has been documenting farmers suicide in the region since 2001.
With the deaths of these four farmers the toll has risen to 37 this month alone while the figure was 38 last month. As many as 359 farmers killed themselves in the region because of agrarian crisis since January this year.