State government scraps scheme to reduce farmer suicidesUpdated: Aug 06, 2020 00:51 IST
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to scrap Baliraja Chetana Abhiyan, a pilot project to counter distress among the agrarian community, and ultimately, reduce farmer suicides. However, the scheme failed to bring down suicides, following which the decision was taken, the relief and rehabilitation department said.
“After taking a review of five years of progress, it was found that the scheme was not effective in giving desired results, as the number of farmer suicides has not declined. Hence, it has been decided to scrap the scheme,” the order states.
The pilot project was started in Osmanabad and Yavatmal districts on July 24, 2015. It aimed at boosting the morale of distressed farmers in villages and to enable them to lead a responsible and purposeful life by the means of counselling and financial help. The project comprised 11 schemes under which the farmers were provided financial support for several requirements such as mass marriage, cancer treatment, preparation for competitive examinations, the first year of MBBS studies, accidental deaths etc. The state had also planned to extend the scheme to all the districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada region most affected with farmer suicides.
“The scheme was started on an experimental basis and that too for two districts. Scrapping it now does not mean that it won’t be started again. We will be starting it in different districts this time. The decision on this is yet to be taken,” said Kishor Raje Nimbalkar, secretary, relief and rehabilitation department.
As per the statistics from Yavatmal districts, 386 farmers had died by suicide in 2015, the year the project was started. The cases dropped in 2016 and 2017 with 272 and 242 cases respectively. But again, rose to 255 cases in 2018 and 286 cases in 2019.