Tuesday, October 03, 2006

7 farmers end lives in Vidarbha

Ramu Bhagwat | TNN

Nagpur: Seven more farmers have committed suicide in Vidarbha in the last 48 hours, according to a group highlighting the unprecedented agrarian crisis in the cotton belt of the region.
The latest to join the unending list of suicide victims are Ramesh Mahalle and Sachin Korde from Akola district, Rambhau Budhe from Buldana, Haridas Malhade from Amravati, Amar Raut of Washim, Sheshrao Wankhede of Wardha and Rajendra Marotkar of Nagpur district.
The Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, which is spearheading a campaign highlighting the farmers' plight, claimed that the suicide toll in the month of September was all-time high at 132. In July and August, 91 and 111 farmers had ended their lives, respectively.

Incidentally it was on July 1 that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh concluded his two-day visit to Vidarbha and announced a Rs 3,750 crore special relief package for the six worst-affected districts in the region. But since then, more than 300 farmers have ended their lives, raising serious doubts on the effectiveness and implementation of the relief package, Samiti president Kihsore Tiwari said. Officials claim that over 8 lakh farmers in six districts have received loans. But the Samiti claimed the tillers were still being denied adequate loans and finding it hard to buy pesticides for the standing crops. Tiwari said the loan amounts received were minuscule.

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