Govt. Survey of 1.7 Million Vidarbha Farmers- 75 Percent Vidarbha Farmers Distressed: Reporthttp://www.dailyindia.com/show
Vidarbha, Nov 22 (ANI): Maharashtra's Vidarbha region has kicked up a storm again, with a State Government survey claiming that about 75 percent of its farmers are distressed and also reporting that farmer suicide cases have gone up by 25 times since 2001.
A survey of 1.7 million farmer families in six districts of Vidarbha, has revealed that a little more than one fourth are facing high distress and the remaining three fourths are under medium distress. Crop loss or crop failure resulting in debt or domestic and societal pressures like being unable to get their daughters married off owing to lack of money and an inability to afford health costs, are cited as the main factors for this distressed condition.
The survey was carried out in 8351 villages at the behest of Maharashtra Chief Secretary D. K. Shankaran. Districts like Amravati, Akola, Yavatmal, Washim, Buldhana, and Wardha were covered under the study, which involved village level workers, teachers and tehsildars.
Around nine lakh families in these villages are under debt, whereas the remaining depended on farm inputs which are scarce. Unmarried daughters were a key source of misery for over three lakh families. Owing to lack of money the marriages could not be arranged, but some farmers showed interest in the mass marriage scheme of the state government to deal with the problem.
Around 12 lakh farmers face struggles as crops fail resulting in losses, either due to infavourable climatic conditions, lack of irrigation facilities or natural calamities. Chronic diseases were another arena causing distress. Organic farming was believed to be bringing some respite to some 40 percent farmers, who seemed to have taken to it.
The six districts covered in the study come under the Prime Minister's `relief package' announced soon after his visit to the region in June this year. The Amravati Division includes five out of the six districts, barring Wardha.Considering the alarming facts in the study, reported by The Hindu, the State Government has sought help from spiritual leaders to counsel the distressed farmers. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was a witness to one such spiritual gathering to assess its success.
According to government statistics between 2001 and 2006 suicide cases by farmers are almost at 2400 in these six districts.
The study says that on an average 100 suicides in a month are recorded in the six districts, however a decreasing trend was being seen as far as crop issue suicides are concerned.
The trend is shown as declining as most of the deaths reported by the state government are shown as non-genuine so as to deny compensation to farmers on grounds of ineligibility.
Around 40 percent cases were shown as ineligible last year, this year the count climbed up to 60 percent ineligible cases. The real picture which is concealed must be frightening. (ANI)