Maharashtra farmer who participated in Modi’s ‘Chai pe Charcha’ commits suicide
PM Narendra Modi, who interacted with the farmers in Dabhadi on March 20, 2014, had promised that his government would cover all farmers under crop credit and free them from the clutches of money lenders.Updated: Dec 13, 2017 17:53 IST
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
A farmer, who took part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘chai pe charcha’ programme during the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, committed suicide in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra allegedly over mounting debts and failed crop.
Kailash Kisan Mankar, 28, killed himself by swallowing pesticide around 6pm on Monday in Dabhadi village of Arni tehsil.
Mankar, the eldest of three siblings, owned three acres of farmland and after his father Kisan Mankar’s death in 2012 he became the sole breadwinner in his family. His younger brother Dnyaneshwar said Mankar was depressed because their cotton crop was destroyed after the sudden attack of the pink bollworm.
“Kailash had taken a loan of Rs 30,000 from the district cooperative bank and around Rs 1 lakh from a private money lender at an exorbitant rate. Apart from the repayment of these loans, he was also worried about the arrangement of our sister Sonu’s wedding which is scheduled this summer,” Dnyaneshwar said.
Modi, who interacted with the farmers in Dabhadi on March 20, 2014, had promised that his government would function as ‘kisan mitra’ or farmers’ friend and it would cover all farmers under crop credit and free them from the clutches of money lenders.
He had said his government would ensure that farmers get quality seeds, fertilisers, crop credits, and crop insurance and formulate a progressive agriculture policy for the overall development of farmers.
The district administration, however, blamed his suicide on a fight Mankar had with Namdeo Pawar, who owns the farm adjacent to his.
“We got a report from the village patwari about the death of Kailash that he committed suicide after the altercation with Namdeo,” Kishore Tiwari, chairperson of the state agriculture mission, said.
“The district administration is verifying the real cause of his death,” Tiwari said
He added that farmers, particularly the cotton growers in the region, are facing hardship and now devastated after pink bollworm attack.
Dnyaneshwar, however, dismissed the administration’s theory behind his brother’s death.
“There was a fight between Kailash and Namdeo on a trivial issue on Monday morning but this is not the reason for him to take the extreme step,” Dnyaneshwar said.
Mankar is the second farmer to commit suicide after the ‘chai pe charcha’ programme was held. Till date, 17 farmer suicides have been reported from Dabhadi.
Thousands of farmers have killed themselves after their crops were damaged because of scarce or heavy rain or hailstorm and because of indebtedness or other farm-related issues.
According to official figures, 2,414 farmers have ended their lives until October 31 in Maharashtra.
Around 240 farmers commit suicide every month on an average in the state and at least eight suicides are reported every day. Last year, an average of 250 suicides were reported in a month. The state had witnessed the highest number of suicides in 2015 at 3,228, although the number slightly dipped to 3,063 the next year.
First Published: Dec 13, 2017 12:09 IST