On the lines of actor Akshay Kumar’s initiative to help families of martyrs from the armed forces, an officer of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in Punjab’s Mansa shared plans of launching a website seeking help for families of farmers in the district who commit suicide due to a debt crisis. He said this a day after HT highlighted how the kin of such farmers were deprived of compensation and counselling sessions.
Additional deputy commissioner (ADC), general, Sanyam Aggarwal said the web portal will have details of such families, and people can then make contributions to support them. The 2012-batch officer said he was inspired by Akshay, who in consultation with the Union home ministry launched the website www.bharatkeveer.gov.in last month. “We will study its model to work out the specifics, such as payment gateway.”
“More than 400 cases of farmer suicide have been reported from the district (since July 2015). I want to launch a web portal wherein the details of tragedy-hit families will be uploaded and monetary donations can be extended. I am thinking of www.debtfreepunjab.com,” he said, though the initiative will not cover the rest of Punjab for now.
He also said a committee comprising financial experts and psychiatrists will be set up in the district to interact with farmers and their families “to help them get out of the stress”. “A helpline number will also be announced shortly and three-step counselling will be offered on our helpline: psychological, financial and technical,” said Aggarwal.
He added that the district agriculture department has procured details of all suicide-hit families and the administration “will look to offer free modern education to the eligible family members”. “On priority, children in such families will be given an opportunity to enrol in English medium schools,” said Aggarwal.