No counselling for suicide victim families in Mansa | punjab$bhatinda | Hindustan Times
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No counselling for suicide victim families in Mansa

While families of the farmers, who committed suicide, have been struggling to get compensation, the promise of free counselling session made by the state government has also not been fulfilled in Mansa. The state government, in a notification issued in 2015, had suggested officials of revenue and agriculture departments to hold a counselling session with the family of the deceased farmer for at least one year to bring the family out of stress.

punjab Updated: Feb 22, 2017 17:30 IST
Mohammad Ghazali
The counselling session was intended to train such families to opt for other sources of income involving agricultural practice.
The counselling session was intended to train such families to opt for other sources of income involving agricultural practice.(HT Representative Image)

While families of the farmers, who committed suicide, have been struggling to get compensation, the promise of free counselling session made by the state government has also not been fulfilled in Mansa. The state government, in a notification issued in 2015, had suggested officials of revenue and agriculture departments to hold a counselling session with the family of the deceased farmer for at least one year to bring the family out of stress.

However, families of such suicide victims are not even aware of this session. “My brother Gurtej Singh had committed suicide by consuming pesticide last year in August. Since then, our request letter for compensation is pending with the district authorities. No govt official has ever visited us or invited us for such ac programme ,” said Gurmail Singh of Sahnewal village. As per the official records, around 413 cases of farmer suicides were reported from the district till December last year. Out of these, 59 cases were approved for compensation, 69 are still pending and 290 cases were rejected by the authorities.

The counselling session was intended to train such families to opt for other sources of income involving agricultural practice. Jasveer Kaur, 33, a widow from Behnibagah village, blames the state government for making hollow promises with the families struggling to make their two ends meet. “I lost my husband, who was under debt of around Rs 3 lakh. Now, I have to bring up my children without any support.”

The farmer union, which has been active in raising the issue of farmer suicides, claim that the state government seems to be running away from shouldering any responsibility, which is quite evident from the fact that they have not held any counselling session with the tragic struck families. “I have known hundreds of such families who have lost their loan bread earners and this government could not even offer a free counselling session to them. This only shows their lackadaisical attitude that forces us to hold protest for our rights,” said Ram Singh of BKU (Ugraha).

District agriculture officer Gurdit Singh, however, said that his department has held various training programmes for farmers, but not specifically for such families as have lost their bread-earners . “Officers of animal husbandry, forest and dairy departments were asked to hold such sessions with the collaboration of the agriculture department. We have been holding such training programmes for farmers and a proper invitation is sent to suicide-hit families too,” he added. In the last two days, four suicides have been reported from different villages where debt-ridden farmers have ended their lives.