Tamil Nadu farmers protest with skulls in Delhi
Demanding profitable price for agriculture products and inter-networking of all rivers, the farmers of Tamil Nadu are protesting in New Delhi against the ill treatment done towards them by the Central and State Government. Finally, there's hope on the horizon for the drought-hit farmers of Tamil Nadu.After losing much of their kuruvai (summer) crop to the water-sharing dispute with Karnataka, agriculturists across the state watched haplessly as a weak northeast monsoon – which usually accounts for 50% of Tamil Nadu's overall rainfall – failed to provide for their samba (winter) crop. Even the Cyclone Vardah couldn't bring about enough rainfall to alleviate the situation.The farmers, desperate to draw attention to their plight, resorted to the only tactics they could fall back on: Taking out protests, and when that failed, committing suicide. Reports say at least 60 farmers have killed themselves until now, and the number continues to rise.The Tamil Nadu government finally responded on Tuesday, with chief minister O Panneerselvam issuing a statement after meeting various farmer associations. “The Northeast monsoon usually brings 440 mm of rainfall to Tamil Nadu,” he said. “However, only 163.8 mm of rain was received. Of the 32 districts in Tamil Nadu, 21 had a deficiency of 60%.”The statement said drought relief measures can be announced only if 10% of all village crops are surveyed by committees formed by district collectors and senior civil authorities.The government also promised freebies to drought-affected families that possess ration cards. “To ensure a happy Pongal (the Tamil harvest festival), a kilo of rice and sugar will be provided, besides cashews, raisins, cardamom, and two feet of sugarcane.” Tamil Nadu is facing the worst drought in last 140 years.