Even after the massive economic packages of state and union governments, the farmers’ suicide continues in the backward Vidarbha region! Nine more crisis-ridden farmers, including a father-son duo, have ended their lives in last 72 hours in the region.
According to reports reaching here on Sunday, all the farmers, who have taken the drastic step, were from suicide-prone districts of western Vidarbha---- Yavatmal, Buldhana, Washim, Amravati and Wardha. Four farmers who committed suicide were from Yavatmal, two were from Wardha while one each from Amravati, Buldhana and Washim, informed Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, who has been documenting the suicides since 2001.
With the deaths of 9 more farmers, the toll touched 50 this month while the figure reached to 120 since January this year. The latest victims were identified as : Shyamrao Kinake of Umri village, Vinod Kinake, Umri, Nilkant Gurnule of Wedasi, Ashok Kolar of Palsoni (all in Yavatmal district), Baba Chikate of Sawli-Wagh, Vinayak Ade, Sakhra (both in Wardha), Tapaji Koradkar of Shirala (Buldhana), Ramrao Gangawane, Depul (Washim) and Bapurao Gaigole of Dhanegaon in Amravati district.
The farmer-son duo, Shyamrao and Vinod Kinake had ended their lives by consuming poison at their Umri house on Saturday evening. They were worried for the marriage of Jyoti, the young daughter of Shyamrao. It was difficult for them to solemnize the marriage due to non-availability of remunerative price of raw cotton. When they failed to raise the money and convinced that they would not get financial support from anyone, they decided to end their lives, the reports said.
The former Shetkari Sanghatana leader, Vijay Jawandhia felt that the crisis had worsened in recent times because of meagre rate of raw cotton, fixed by the government. The farmers used to get Rs 2,500 per quintal two year ago while the rate of raw cotton has been slashed down to just Rs 1700 per quintal this year. “It is very difficult for the farmers to replay the loans and support their families’ whole year with this meagre money and hence the distress farmers are being compelled to take such extreme step. The government refuses to consider the plight of farmers arising of non-availability of remunerative prices of their product and the high cost of agro-inputs,” he pointed out.
Similar deaths were also witnessed last year when Sanjay Kalaskar, a 25-year young farmer of Vegaon in Yavatmal district ended his life because of mounting debts and crop failure. His father, Babanrao had committed suicide due to same reasons in 2005.
The state government which has been claiming for pumping huge money to prevent on-going farmers’ suicide, however, miserably failed to do so even after implementation of two massive economic packages of state and union government. The Art of Living of religious Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had also tried to spread the spiritual mantra to the poor farmers. Unfortunately none of them could stem the tide of suicide.