Vidarbha Farmer suicides highest in March
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Despite CM's claim that suicide rates were going down, 95 farmers ended their lives last month
Death row No. of suicides
2007 March 95 February 88 January 70 2006
2006 July 90 August 111 Sept 125 Oct 112 Nov 107 Dec 105
Nagpur April 1st 2007
WITH EVERY passing month this year, more farmers are killing themselves in Vidarbha – belying Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh's claims that the suicide rate has decreased.
With four more farmers ending their lives in the last 24 hours, the suicide figure in the region has touched 95 this month. It was 88 and 70 in February and January respectively .
According to reports reaching here on Saturday evening, one farmer each committed suicide from Nagpur, Bhan dara, Wardha and Gadchiroli.
The victims were identified as Prakash Dadaji Nimborkar of Kharpundi (Gadchiroli), Bhushan Haribhau Dhote, Rampuri (Bhandara), Avinash Lendare of Takli-Darne (Wardha) and Harish Madhukar Thote of Inderwada village in Nagpur district.
Deshmukh had claimed early this month that there had been a sharp decline in suicide cases due to swift packages for farmers and disbursal of more loans in the region.
"Any death in Vidarbha, for any reason, is dubbed as suicide, with the media claiming suicides are rising. Unfor tunately, the picture being painted is that nothing (suicide rate) is coming under control," the chief minister had said.
Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti chief Kishore Tiwari believes the CM is not aware of the ground reality.
"He does not know how officials of cotton marketing federation have been ruthlessly deducting over 50 per cent of money cotton growers make to adjust the loans. How will the farmers survive the whole year with this meagre money and start farming afresh in the ensuing kharif season?" Tiwari asked, reiterating that relief packages had not helped the crisis-ridden farmers.
Tiwari said 80 per cent farmers would not get the loans in the coming kharif season because of failure to repay the earlier amount by the deadline. The government has fixed a deadline of June 30 to repay the amount.
Meanwhile, Sudhir Goel, divisional commissioner of Amravati, admitted that only 25 per cent of the 10-lakh beneficiaries would be able to repay the loans. "If they fail to repay the amount by the deadline, they will not get the loan benefits," Goel told Hindustan Times.