Sunday, December 11, 2005

After the farmer's suicide........

In my previous post green revolution i wrote about the agrarian crisis that is happening in india and how it is responsible for the death of so many farmers. Actually that is only part of the devastating thing that is happening in the farming community.
More than 20 cotton farmers ended their lives – and many others continue to do so in the dusty villages of Vidarbha, after the NCF toured the region. One estimate suggests that a farmer is committing suicide every 22 hours, and that rate, fear farm leaders, would accelerate over the next three months. Vidarbha alone has reported 110 suicides since 2 June 2005. That is since the fresh agriculture season commenced in the cotton belt.

Sadly, even widows are following the footsteps of their husbands who ended themselves in the past seven years.

what happens when a farmer commits suicide?.Is all his problems solved?. Maybe all HIS problems are solved. But what happens to his children?. what about his wife?.what about the debt?.

India together has a very good article on this titled Vidarbha distress and the end of innocence .It talks about the families of the vidharbha area farmers who committed suicide.
Vidarbha - When cotton farmer Digambar Agose, 55, swallowed pesticide in Malvagad village near Mahagaon town in Yavatmal on January 18, 2005, his 12-year-old son Madhav became a debtor by inheritance. Today, ten months after his father committed suicide, Madhav toils from 6 am to 8 pm to herd the cattle of a big farmer for a paltry Rs 20 a day. Education? Forget it. He has to help his mother Rukmabai feed the family. Then, he has to tend to his three younger siblings......

In village after Vidarbha village, amidst the graves of farmers, young girls and boys are fast losing their innocence to a piling debt and daunting responsibilities, after the suicide of their fathers. In every farming family that has seen the headman commit suicide, the children have eventually dropped out of schools to take up the plough and work like the beasts of burden at tender age. Girls are among the worst hit. Problems prop up when they get ready for marriage. Finding a groom for a girl whose farmer father commits suicide proves to be tough. The prospective groom could reject the proposal for two more reasons: One, the economic compulsions of bride's family would force the marriage to be a low-key affair, and two it could shift some of family responsibilities (including debt of bride's father) on to the groom. "That's why many families don't report the suicides, fearing for the social ramifications," says a high ranking police officer who asked not to be named because the issue was politically delicate.more

really sad indeed... unless the government steps up the gas to improve the plight of the farmers by providing more subsidies and forcing banks to provide better loans, the situation would be bad...micro-credit is picking up, but that at a much much local scale...
yeah, the govt doesn't seem to have any plans on this.It is totally oblivious
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