'Alcoholism also a cause of farmers' suicide'
In a shocking revelation, a group of journalism students on a study tour of Vidharba district, plagued by farmers' suicides, have come to a conclusion that besides indebtedness, another precipitating factor for their tendency to commit suicide is alcoholism, which has affected even minors in a big way.
The students of the Department of Journalism and Communication of the University of Mumbai, recently visited some of these villages to understand the social and political structure of the place and their problems.
Mr Sanjay Ranade, veteran journalist and head of the department, explained that every village had a unique reason for farmers committing suicide. After going to Waifad, Dorli and Lonsavli, the most glaring problem of indebtedness could not be doubted. The other reasons were "alcohol" and "lack of responsibility."
"The basic problem of the people there is alcohol. Even though it is banned in Wardha that boasts of adhering to the principles of great leaders like Gandhiji and Vinoba Bhave, the alcohol is made in every house-hold.
More than a 1000 house-holds are involved in distilling and fermenting illicit liquor here. In fact, we saw boys aged 12 and 14 moving around in a drunken state," Sayyed Salman Abbas, a student told UNI here.
"They have become habituated to taking loans. One of the villagers who had recently committed suicide had a loan of Rs 1,25,000 on his head. He took further loans and when he couldn't repay, committed suicide," he said.
It is important to note that according to the State Government, of the 777 suicides in 2006, seven per cent were in Wardha district.
Overall, 93 per cent suicides were a result of indebtedness while 28 per cent were due to addiction. In fact, seven more suicides have already been recorded this year.