In 7 years, 76% farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra due to indebtedness: Survey
Osmanabad, and Yavatmal in Vidarbha are two of the worst affected districts in the state, in the last seven years.mumbai Updated: Jun 09, 2018 00:53 IST
In a recent study of 450 families that have witnessed farmer suicides in Osmanabad district of Marathwada, the Tata Institute of Social Studies (TISS) found that farmers from nuclear families are more vulnerable to commit suicide than those in joint families.
Osmanabad, and Yavatmal in Vidarbha are two of the worst affected districts in the state, in the last seven years.
The study showed that 80% farmers, who committed suicides, were literates, while 76% farmers took the drastic step due to indebtedness.
Nearly 71% of these farmers came from nuclear families and lacked a strong support system.
The TISS study was commissioned by the district collector, to understand what measures can be taken to stop farmer suicides.
The state government had launched the `Baliraja Chetna Abhiyan’ with targeted schemes in 2015. With this, the number of suicides in Osmanabad reduced to 126 in 2017, from 164 and 161 in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Besides extending monetary benefits, the government gave social benefits to the farmers in distress, in the district.
Through the TISS survey, the government wants to do more.
TISS interviewed 450 members from 597 families with record of suicide between 2011 and 2017.
The institute has summed up their survey with reasons of suicides, socio-economic profile of the families with suicide records and has also given 31 suggestions to reduce distress and prevent suicides.
The reports states that 65.8% of the farmers, who committed suicide, were from the Maratha community, 10.4% from Dhangar, 4% from Lingayat and 3.1% from the Mali community.
“71.1% farmers who killed themselves in the district were from nuclear families. This shows that farmers from nuclear families were more vulnerable. Of the 450 suicides in seven years, only 22.2% were by illiterate farmers. 7.3% farmers were either graduates or post graduates,” it stated.
The report also has stated that 91.8% farmers who committed suicide, were farmers owning land; and only 2.4% were farm labourers.
87.6% of them were healthy, while 3.3% were facing ailments related to heart, diabetes, cancer, tuberculosis, asthma among others. 70.2% hanged themselves, while 20.2 % consumed poison.
The report also stressed that 75.8% suicides were out of indebtedness, 59.1% due to crop failure, 43.6% for drought, 19.8% due to pressure of marriage of kids, 14.9% due to educational expenses and 9.8% out of alcohol addiction, among others.
The TISS survey found that only 54.8% families received assistance from the government.
“We recently forwarded the report to the state government. We have already started taking measures suggested by the TISS report. We also succeeded in reducing the number of suicides in the last one and half year,” said Osmanabad collector RV Game.
First Published: Jun 09, 2018 00:53 IST