Saturday, June 30, 2012

Delayed rains claims six vidarbha farmers' suicides in last 72 hours

Delayed rains claims six vidarbha farmers' suicides in last 72  hours

NAGPUR: 1st July 1 2012

When cotton farmers Vijay  Pimpalshende a small dry land farmer holding 3 acre land aged 42 in village Sonurli when went to see the condition of seed after sowing it second week of June  and complete failure of seed sowing forced him consumed pesticide  and reported dead in Govt. medical college Yavatmal   .the fate of another cotton farmer near by in konghara village farmers Ambadas Hatgoankar(37) who is also dry land small farmer holding 3 acre of land and who has also opted rain sensitive Bt.cotton crop  which failed due delayed rain and worst climatic condition  become similar when he too consumed pesticide and also declared dead in Govt. medical college Yavatmal .the complete June month is over and only 15% seed sowing is done and farmers who believed  on Indian metrological forecast of normal monsoon and at right time opted pre monsoon lost complete seed sowing and farmers who are in deep distress   and debt trapped are committing suicides like Vijay and Amadas  did as in last 72 hours in vidarbha another six farmers suicides reported including Vijay  Pimpalshende and Ambadas Hatgoankar  and they are identified as

1.Dhyaneshwar Tayde og village Telhra  dist..Akola
2.Rajendra Wadhai of village Supalipar in distt. Gondi
3.Ramdas Hingwe of village Nara in wardha
4.Babulal Rathode of village deurwadi in Yavatmal
5. Vijay  Pimpalshende of Sonurli in Yavatmal
6. Ambadas Hatgoankar of Konghara in Yavatmal

This takes tally of farmers suicides in vidarbha  to 422 in year 2012 ,Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jaandolan Samiti (VJAS) informed in press release today

“Vidarbha agrarian crisis has entered seven year now and vidarbha farmers suicides are being reported since June 2005 @ 8 hourly  and as per official Govt. record more that 9000 dry land farmers have killed themselves due distress and despair accumulated due to crop failure and economic losses due cotton prices collapses due wrong policies of Indian Govt. regarding export  . now one side monsoon rain are getting delayed other side banks are not giving fresh crop loan to farmers and input cost of as Bt.cotton seed ,fertilizers and pesticides have been  has been almost double in same cases triple which is also adding fuel to the crisis as last year too in maharashtra alone Bt.cotton failed in 42 lakh hector and maharashtra has officially paid more than Rs.4000 crore as compensation to the dying cotton farmers of region  hence furrows on farmers' brows are getting deeper as they desperately wait for rains,.with the monsoon playing truant, water level in reservoirs of large and medium dams is fast depleting At least now the government should intervene to see that farmers take up less rain-sensitive food crops like jawar and bajra instead of cotton and soya so as to sustain food needs for the year ahead," said Tiwari.

‘Ground reality in  complete maharashtra in too gloomy to explain ground water level has reached to very alarming level and uncontrolled water mining is adding fuel to crisis and the promotion of very rain sensitive crop like Bt.cotton by the maharashtra state is making situation more difficult as farmers who want shift from Bt.cotton they are not getting good quality seed of food crop and pluses  more over very low minimum support price and productivity ,farmers are being forced to opt Bt.cotton seed  hence we demand urgent Govt. intervention to provide direct aid and quality seed for the dry land farmers who are demanding seed of pulses ,ground nu ,jawar ,bajar maize ’ Tiwari urged to the Govt.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Four more farmers commit suicide in Vidarbha-Hindustan Times

iconimg Friday, June 29, 2012
Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Nagpur, June 29, 2012
Farmer Suicides In Vidarbha Region - Yearwise
2001: 52   / 2002: 104 /  2003: 148 /  2004: 447  /2005: 445 /  2006: 1,448 / 2007: 1,246/ 2008: 1,268/  2009: 916 / 2010: 748 / 2011: 918 / 2012: 416 (till June 29)
The miseries of farmers of Vidarbha have aggravated with monsoon playing truant. Already driven to resorting to desperate measures owing to prevailing agrarian crisis, the farmers are now faced with the threat of resowing their crop if it doesn’t rain soon. Against this grim scenario, suicides by distressed farmers continue to haunt the killing field of Vidarbha. As many as four farmers, including a woman, ended their lives in last 48 hours in the region. The farmers’ suicide toll has reached 48 in June as against 52 in May this year. A total of 416 farmers ended their lives because of debts and crop failure since January 2012. The situation is so severe that at least two farmers commit suicide in the region every day.
According to reports reaching Nagpur on Friday, one farmer each from Yavatmal, Buldhana, Amravati and Wardha in western part of Vidarbha, swallowed pesticides to end life after they were denied fresh crop loans by the banks for this season.
Kiran Khodke of Atraj village in Buldhana district committed suicide when first sowing dried up because of paucity of rainfall. He had sowed soyabean and cotton after borrowing loans from private moneylenders. However, it did not click as there was no rainfall in the area for the last 10 days thus sowing dried up. A depressed Khodke could not arrange for funds for resowing finally swallowed pesticide to end his life.
Khodke’s family rushed him to the nearest civil hospital where he died this morning. The other three deaths are more or less similar. "These farmers were depressed when they were denied bank loans and could not start the sowing process this kharif season," claimed Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti that has been documenting the farmers’ suicide in the region.
Three other farmers who committed suicide include: Vishwanath Khawai, Nara (Wardha), Waman Shende of Sonurli (Yavatmal) and Manorama Deshmukh, Chandash (Wathoda) in Amravati district.
The region has been witnessing spate of suicides since 1997. The state as well as the central government came out with several relief packages to bail-out distressed farmers. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a Rs 3,750-crore relief package during his 2006 visit to the region. However, these packages failed to stem the suicides. As many as 918 farmers ended their lives last year.
There was a time when this part of Central India was well-known for its rich black cotton soil. Gradually the picture changed and now the region presents a picture of poverty, parched land and widows.  Poor rainfall, expensive healthcare, rise in agro-input costs and the lure of latest consumer durables etc have led to the financial misery of the farmers. Moreover, they are not getting remunerative price of their produce because of the prevailing prices and demand in the international markets or so the farmers are given to believe.
Ashwin Mudgal, the Yavatmal district collector, was not available for comments. Yavatmal is one of the worst suicide-hit districts in the region.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ludhiana teacher donates tubewell for Maharashtra's tribals- IANS

Ludhiana teacher donates tubewell for Maharashtra's tribals

Orissa,Environment/Wildlife,Features, Wed, 27 Jun 2012 IANS
Nagpur, June 27 (IANS) Hundreds of tribals living in the remote forests of Maharashtra's Yavatmal district rejoiced when fresh and cool water started gushing out in full force from a tubewell in the parched Nandgaon locality.
The tubewell, among four drilled this week out of donations from school and college students, was the brainchild of Manish Dedhwal, a teacher of the BCM High School, Ludhiana.
The Nandgaon tubewell is dedicated to the memory of 11-year-old Monu Kapoor, who succumbed to leukemia and was denied water in his last few moments as he had lost his lungs.
"His mother Rama Kapoor, an English teacher in the BCM High School, was heartbroken as Monu was her only child. She made an instant donation of Rs.51,000 for this project, saying no child should be deprived of water," Dedhwal told IANS.
The newly-drilled tubewell was inaugurated Monday at a solemn prayer ceremony with Monu's picture garlanded and all tribals standing in silence. The donor, Rama Kapoor, is expected to visit the place soon, Dedhwal said.
Dedhwal, and Jitender Kumar, a student of the Guru Nanak Engineering College, had visited Yavatmal last December on a field trip after hearing of the large number of farmers' suicides in the region.
"We were shocked to see women and children trudging with vessels on their heads for 8-10 km for collecting drinking water from wells or polluted water sources in the forests," Kumar told IANS.
They assured the villagers that they would do something for them and returned to Ludhiana.
"We formed the 'Friends of Vidarbha Club' in our city and appealed to our students, colleagues and others for donations. People started chipping in as per their capacity and we collected around Rs.200,000, including Rama Kapoor's generous donation," Dedhwal said.
Armed with the financial resources, last week they travelled over 1,500 km from Ludhiana to Yavatmal and identified four villages in dire need of water.
They are: Kundi, Ambazari, Hivara, all falling in the Zari sub-district and Nandgaon in the Kelapur sub-district.
Local contractors were hired to drill tube-wells in each of these parched villages and struck water at average depths of 400 feet, since it is the height of summer and monsoons have eluded the region so far, Kumar said.
"Besides, we have installed submersible pumps, electric motors, and connecting pipelines at strategic locations in these tiny hamlets to enable people get ample water daily," Dedhwal explained.
Each tubewell cost in the range of Rs.50,000, all inclusive, and the last bit of the work was completed Monday evening, Dedhwal told IANS.
"We are happy that we could fulfil our promise of bringing drinking water to the doorsteps of these villagers and hope that we are able to do more," said a pleased but weary Dedhwal.
Fortunately, the Friends of Vidarbha Club has got the endorsement of a leading medico and social worker, Shantakumar Verma, and donations are still coming.
"So, after collecting sufficient funds, on our next trip, we plan to construct a small hospital for the benefit of the tribals here as they badly need good medicare," both Kumar and Dedhwal said.
The duo admitted that this would require huge funds but were confident that the people of Ludhiana and other parts of Punjab would chip in for the noble venture.
Suresh Bolanwar, a local villager who is also coordinating the project, said that this is the first time people have seen water in such abundance right next to their homes.
"For decades our story has been the same. During monsoon, we collect rainwater flowing from the roofs, small streams and seasonal rivers and, after monsoons, walk up to 10 km to collect water for our daily basic needs," Bolanwar said.
He said that the Nandgaon tubewell, dedicated to Monu Kapoor, has virtually become a pilgrim place and people are coming from other hamlets to collect water from it, considering it to be holy water.
Local NGO Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti chief Kishore Tiwari said that the organization (VJAS) had raised the issue of malnourishment and starvation among the Kolam and other tribes in the region, problems of water scarcity and related issues with the Bombay High Court, Nagpur Bench, in 2001.
Later, a team of the National Human Rights Commission visited the region and promised to initiate necessary steps with the state government, but nothing has happened so far, Tiwari said.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Maharashtra Govt. and CICR Admits Bt.cotton Failure

“Maharashtra Govt. and CICR initiative to test Non-BT cotton seed in Vidarbha” is admission of Bt.cotton failure - Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti

Nagpur -21st June 2012
Vidarbha cotton farmers’ advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS) has welcomed the move of Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) and The Maharashtra government to implement a pilot project titled as the Brazilian model of Non-Bt.cotton promotion in eight districts of Vidarbha region to start cultivation of straight varieties of cotton in place of hybrid or Bt (Genetically-Modified) ones, the government appears to be doing a rethink over its policy of promoting Bt cotton  which confirm complete failure of Bt.cotton seed technology but such project will be futile when  nearly 90% of the area under cotton in India is under Bt varieties which cover around 12 million hector and any trial 160 acres of land belonging to 160 farmers in this region will be difficult to give desired result hence we demand complete ban Bt.cotton cultivation in dry land region of vidarbha  to make compulsory for cotton farmers’ to cultivate non-Bt straight indigenous varieties which are proven for hundreds of years Kishor Tiwari of vidarbha advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS.) informed today .
“Vidarbha is agrarian crisis is directly linked with as all farmer suicide prone district mono crop  which is predominantly cultivated is Bt.cotton since 2005 and now State agriculture commissioner Umakant Dangat officially admitted that  India has the lowest cotton productivity in the world and Maharashtra, the lowest in India and union agriculture  minister  Mr Sharad Pawar own admission that vidarbha dry land farmers are losing more than Rs.2000 crore per year since introduction of Bt.cotton seed in vidarbha,  is proven fact that it’s classic example  of promoting wrong technology  to wrong class agrarian community as rain sensitive crop has proven killer seed in west vidarbha as 95% farmers opted this technology are dry land farmers ” Tiwari added.
“We are shocked to see statement of Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) Director Keshav Kranthi who was instrumental to lunch Desi-Bt.cotton seed which left ICAR red-faced when fact surfaced that it was stolen technology Monsanto now claiming   that the cost of seeds of straight varieties is much lower than Bt varieties, besides which these varieties become ready for plucking in just 150-160 days whereas BT varieties take around 180-200 days, which reduces the need for fertilizers, pesticides and other nutrients substantially. And unlike Bt cotton varieties, seeds derived from straight cotton varieties can be used during the next season where as same Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) and The Maharashtra government to introduce Bt.cotton seed resulting nearly 9,000 cotton growing farmers suicide due to Bt.cotton failure  since June 2005  hence we demand that Government must come clean on Bt cotton and admit that policy of promoting Bt cotton in the rain-fed areas was wrong, which prompted farmers to commit suicide across the country” Tiwari said.

‘We need long term planning to develop proven to crop pattern and methodology   not trial project of imported technology where as neighboring Andhra Pradesh cotton  farmers have adopted NPM practices in nearly 3.5 lakh acres, across different crops. Net returns of farmers are increasing and time has come go back to our traditional sustainable agriculture not MNC base input driven” Tiwari added

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

कोळशावर आधारित १३२ नवे वीज प्रकल्प--लोकमत

कोळशावर आधारित १३२ नवे वीज प्रकल्प--लोकमत

सर्वाधिक ५८ चंद्रपुरात, यवतमाळ-अमरावतीत १४ प्रकल्प

यवतमाळ। दि.१९ (प्रतिनिधी)

कोळशावर आधारित १३२ नवे विद्युत प्रकल्प विदर्भात येत आहेत. त्यापैकी बहुतांश प्रकल्पांना केंद्र शासनाने मंजुरी दिली. काही मंजुरीच्या वाटेवर आहेत.विदर्भाच्या जनतेनी या १३२ विद्युत प्रकल्पचा विरोध करावा असे आवाहन   विदर्भ जनआंदोलन समितीचे प्रमुख किशोर तिवारी यांनी केले.
या प्रकल्पातून विदर्भात ८६ हजार ४६0 मेगावॅट वीज निर्मिती होणार आहे. या प्रकल्पासाठी १ लाख एकर जमीन अािण दररोज ३६ हजार क्युबिक मीटर पाणी लागणार आहे. या पाण्यामुळे सहा लाख हेक्टर सिंचन क्षमता कमी होण्याची शक्यता आहे. या प्रकल्पांमध्ये दररोज १८ लाख टन कोळसा जाळला जाणार आहे.
प्रस्तावित १३२ वीज प्रकल्पांपैकी एकट्या नागपूर जिल्ह्यात २८ प्रकल्प होत असून त्याची क्षमता १७ हजार मेगावॅट आहे. सर्वाधिक ५८प्रकल्प चंद्रपूर जिल्ह्यात येत असून त्याची क्षमता २८हजार मेगावॅट आहे. भंडारा व गोंदिया जिल्ह्यात २२ हजार मेगावॅट क्षमतेचे १६ तर अमरावती व यवतमाळ जिल्ह्यात १४ हजार मेगावॅट क्षमतेचे २0 प्रकल्प येत आहे. वर्धा जिल्ह्यात ३२00 मेगावॅटचे सात तर नक्षलग्रस्त गडचिरोली जिल्ह्यात कोळसा व पाणी मिळविण्यासाठी दोन हजार मेगावॅटचे तीन प्रकल्प येत आहे. याशिवाय महाराष्ट्र राज्य वीज निर्मिती कंपनीचे खापरखेडा, कोराडी व चंद्रपूरमध्ये तीन हजार मेगावॅटचे नवे प्रकल्प प्रस्तावित आहे. या प्रकल्पांमधून पुन्हा मोठय़ा प्रमाणात शेतकर्‍यांच्या जमिनी बळकावल्या जाणार असून सिंचनासाठी असलेले पाणी ओढले जाणार आहे. त्यामुळे सहा लाख हेक्टर सिंचन क्षेत्र प्रभावित होण्याची शक्यता आहे.
विदर्भ जनआंदोलन समितीचे आवाहन
वर्धा येथील काँग्रेस खासदाराचे लॅनको प्रकल्प पुन्हा जनसुनावणीसाठी आणले आहे.उद्या २0जूनला वर्धेमध्ये ही जनसुनावणी होत असून ती हाणून पाडण्याचे आवाहन विदर्भ जनआंदोलन समितीचे प्रमुख किशोर तिवारी यांनी केले

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Vidarbha farmers' group supports stir against toll collecion-By Indo Asian News Service | IANS

Vidarbha farmers' group supports stir against toll collecion

Nagpur, June 17 (IANS) Farmers' advocacy organisation Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) Sunday lent its support to the ongoing protest against toll collection across the state led by Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
"We fully support the stir against rampant corruption and massive exploitation at all toll collection booths throughout Maharashtra and demanded the probe into high toll rates here," said Kishor Tiwari, president of VJAS.
Quoting a study by Transport Corporation of India and IIM Calcutta, Tiwari said that slow truck speeds on highways and delays at toll plazas are costing the country about Rs.60,000 crore a year, a recent survey suggests.
"But what is more shocking is that more than Rs.60,000 crore a year are been collected by the BOT (build-operate-) operators through unjustified and unlawful levy from innocent transporters," he alleged.
Tiwari said that it is shocking that a car owner driving from Nagpur to Hyderabad on the National Highway 7 faces 12 toll booths and ends up paying Rs.750 only as toll charges.
"Last year, social activist Anna Hazare had demanded closure of all toll booths and threatened a stir. Over 27 toll booths were shut down, but they were reopened only within three months," Tiwari said.
"This clearly speaks of the unholy nexus between political parties," he added.
VJAS demanded that a committee be set up to look into the "Tollgate" and claimed that the scam will be bigger than the "Coal-gate" scam.
"If appropriate measures are not taken to bring down toll charges, VJAS will boycott toll charges at all the booths on National Highway 7," Tiwari said.

Friday, June 15, 2012



The Hon’ble High Court comprising of Hon’ble Justice P. V. Hardas and Justice M.L. Tahilyani has issued notices to The Regional Officer, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Nagpur, The District Collector Wardha, M/s Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power Co. Ltd and Ministry of Environment and Forest, New Delhi in PIL No:-56/2012 filed by Maruti Dhongade and three other Sarpanch of villages in the District Wardha, challenging the validity and legality of the “Public Notice” issued by the MPCB for conducting the “Environmental Public Hearing” for the grant of “Environmental Clearance” to run the 660 X 2 MW Power Plant in Wardha.
The MPCB has issued Public Notice on 16-05-2012 and announced the venue for “Public Hearing” at Stadium in Wardha which is 25 KM away from the project site. The MPCB has issued the notice for public hearing on the specific directions of the High Court in PIL No:-78/2010, when the earlier Public Hearing was cancelled on account of being vitiated due to ruckus by the company officials. The petitioners are “Sarpanch” of four villages, espousing the cause of hundreds of the poor villagers residing in 40 villages within vicinity of the project, have demanded the quashing of the “Public Notice” on the ground that it is violative of statutory provisions of Environmental Protection Rules 1986. The petitioners contended that “The District Collector” has no powers to decided the date, time and venue as against the Member Secretary of MPCB, the date and venue will not ensure the “widest public participation” and the public hearing if held at 25 KM away will cause great inconvenience and be detrimental to poor farmers.
The petitioners have also alleged that the “Public Notice” is violative of the MOEF Notifications dated 14-09-2006 and 01-12-2009 and against the statutory provisions hence must be set aside. The Hon’ble High Court has issued the notices and directed the respondents to file the affidavits in two weeks. The High Court has refused to grant interim stay to the “Public Notice” and made it clear that the “Public Hearing” would be subjected to the decision of this PIL.
Adv. Tushar Mandlekar and Adv. Aniket Belorkar argued for the petitioners. Adv. Bharti Dangre waived the notices for the state government. Adv. Sanyal argued for the MPCB.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

‘जिल्हाधिकाऱ्यांच्या आदेशानंतरही शेतक री पीक कर्ज वाटप नाही’- लोकसत्ता

‘जिल्हाधिकाऱ्यांच्या आदेशानंतरही शेतक री पीक कर्ज वाटप नाही’- लोकसत्ता
 पेरणीचे दिवस तोंडावर आले असताना विदर्भातील नापिकीग्रस्त शेतकऱ्यांना पीक कर्ज वाटप करण्याचे आदेश जिल्हाधिकाऱ्यांनी दिल्यानंतरही अनेक तांत्रिक मुद्दे समोर करून सहकारी आणि राष्ट्रीयकृत बँकेचे अधिकारी शेतकऱ्यांना पीक कर्ज देण्यास नकार देत आहेत, तर काही ठिकाणी राष्ट्रीयकृत बँकांचे व्यवस्थापक लाच मागत असल्याचा आरोप विदर्भ जनआंदोलन समितीचे नेते किशोर तिवारी यांनी केला आहे. नापिकीग्रस्त शेतकऱ्यांना १५ जूनपर्यंत बँकांनी पीक कर्ज वाटप केले नाही, तर सहकारी आणि राष्ट्रीयकृत बँकांसमोर डफडे वाजवा आंदोलन करण्यात येईल, असा इशारा समितीने दिला आहे राष्ट्रवादी काँग्रेस व काँग्रेसच्या नेत्यांनी नागपूर, वर्धा व बुलढाणा या जिल्हा मध्यवर्ती बँकांची दिवाळखोरी केल्यानंतर या जिल्ह्य़ात जिल्हा मध्यवर्ती बँक व सोसायटीमार्फत होणारे पीक कर्ज जवळजवळ थांबले आहे, तर सर्वच राष्ट्रीयकृत बँकांनी शेतकऱ्यांना पीक कर्ज न देण्याचे धोरण स्वीकारल्यामुळे लाखो पात्र शेतकरी पीक कर्जापासून वंचित आहेत. नाबार्डने निर्धारित केलेल्या पीक कर्जाचे फक्त ३० टक्के वाटप बँकांनी केले आहे. या संदर्भात जिल्हाधिकाऱ्यांनी वारंवार बैठकी घेऊन शेतकऱ्यांना पीक कर्ज देण्यासंदर्भात सूचना दिल्यानंतर राष्ट्रीयकृत आणि सहकारी बँक सुद्धा काही तांत्रिक मुद्दे समोर करून पीक कर्ज देण्यास टाळाटाळ करीत आहेत, असा आरोप तिवारी यांनी केला. सहकारी बँकाच्या दिवाळखोरीमुळे सरकारने नाबार्डचा कृषी पतपुरवठा राष्ट्रीयकृत बँकामार्फत करावा व मध्यवर्ती सहकारी बँकांना जोडलेल्या सोसायटय़ा राष्ट्रीयकृत बँकांना जोडाव्या, अशी मागणी समितीने केली आहे.
एकीकडे सरकार शून्य व्याज दरावर पीककर्ज वाटप करीत असल्याचा दावा करीत आहे, तर बँका मात्र शेतकऱ्यांना पीक कर्ज देण्यास नकार देत आहेत. अशा परिस्थितीत जिल्ह्य़ात धर्मदाय आयुक्तांजवळ समाजकार्यासाठी नोंदणी केलेल्या शेकडो स्वयंसेवी संस्था, आंध्रमधील खाजगी सावकार, महिला बचत गट तयार करून १८ ते ३० टक्क्यांपर्यंत व्याज घेऊन पीक कर्ज वाटप करीत आहेत. विदर्भातील महिला बचत गटांना ३० टक्के वार्षिक व्याज दराने पीक कर्ज वाटप करण्याची परवानगी सरकारने स्वयंसेवा संस्थांना कशी दिली व धर्मदाय आयुक्तांनी सावकारी करणाऱ्या स्वयंसेवी संस्थांविरुद्ध काय कारवाई केली, असा प्रश्न समितीने उपस्थित केला आहे. एकीकडे सहकारी पत पुरवठा सरकार पीक कर्जासाठी देत नाही, तर दुसरीकडे राजकीय नेते आपल्या स्वयंसेवी संस्थांमार्फत सवाई व दीडीच्या दराने शेतकऱ्यांना पीक कर्ज देतात, हा शेतकऱ्यांची लूट करण्याचा प्रकार आहे.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

1 man. 1 rupee. 1 check dam

 Anil Joshi, (39) with wife and two daughters. He went on to sell his wife’s jewellery? Why? Read on.Joshi's check dams effort and evidence of a raised water table.By Kavita Kanan Chandra
Y! Editor’s note: Anil Joshi, an Ayurveda doctor in Fatehgarh village in Madhya Pradesh- collected one rupee each from one lakh people and constructed a check dam across a local seasonal river called Somli. Going on to repeat it across eleven locations, he is now a full-time water conservationist. With a dream to build 100 such check dams in nearby villages, constantly experiencing drought conditions.One premise of the green economy (World Environment Day 2012 theme) is social inclusion and here is an economically inventive version of that possibility, where the initiative remains human.
The story of  Re 1 and a dam ‘doctor’

In Fatehgarh, a check dam, constructed in 2010, permanently altered the face of this  village – from a drought stricken - a well-irrigated one. And in that little dash sits this unsung story.
Anil Joshi had a clinic here since 1994 and knew most of the gaonwallahs. “Some of my patients were farmers who obtained 100-200 quintals of food grain during harvesting season but after eight years of meager rains, they were in a very bad situation and had to buy food grain to feed their family,” says 39-year-old Joshi. The situation was so bad that patients couldn’t pay his fee either.

As a resident of Mandsaur, (the district HQ) Joshi has seen better days when rains were sufficient and farmers harvested enough to sustain their families. Things had taken a turn for the worse after 1999 as rainfall began to decrease.In 2008, the village faced its worst drought and water scarcity.
Joshi felt building a check dam across the river Somli would help the villagers, as it would raise the ground water table in the area. However, when he shared the idea with his farmer friends they just laughed it off. But Joshi borrowed about a thousand empty cement sacks from a friend and filled them with sand. He himself stood in the middle of the Somli river with a rope tied around his waist and his friends held the rope on either ends. “Though the river was dry, there was always a stretch where water flowed with a strong current. As I stood in the running water, I could gauge its force and realized what a challenging task I had in my hand. The barrier that we planned to put up across the river had to withstand the force of the water,” he recalls. With the help of a few friends, Joshi put all the sand filled sacks across the river in a row. Within fifteen days, it rained and there was water in the check dam. Meanwhile the hand pumps sputtered a memorable gurgle.

“There was a good crop that year after years of drought,” remembers Joshi.

Recharged at many levels, what does Joshi do next? Remember the earlier photo. He sells his wife’s jewels and borrows some money to construct another check dam on the Somli river. “Even today when I get involved in the house we are constructing, she motivates me to go and build check dams instead and not worry about our house,” Joshi’s voice beaming with pride.

In 2010 Joshi hits upon the idea of taking one rupee from each villager for constructing a permanent check dam across the Somli river. He felt such a dam would permanently end the drought situation of the village. Joshi was able to collect Rs 36 in just three hours on day 1. The next day’s collection was Rs 120. However, some people began to question him on his motive - collecting money, why? But positive press coverage played a role here. “After the media wrote about the check dams I had built, more people started to support me,” says Joshi. Two teachers, Sundarlal Prajapat and Omprakash Mehta, extended their support in a big way.

Joshi and his dedicated team collected 1 lakh in three months flat and a permanent check dam was built at a cost of Rs 92000. The villagers voluntarily provided their labor.Following the success at Fatehgarh, Joshi has helped to build eleven more check dams on rivers and ‘nullahs’ (smaller channels of water) in eleven villages within a 10 km radius of Fatehgarh.He now aims to plant trees along the 120 km road to Sawaliya Dham to provide shade for the barefoot pilgrims visiting the Krishna temple there.
And build 100 check dams within a few years. “Constructing check dams by collecting one rupee from each person in a drought stricken village has now become my mission and I will make this effort a continuous process,” says Joshi, who is now becoming known more as a water conservationist and less as a medical practitioner.

This story was in partnership with 

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Vidarbha Reports Four more farmers’ suicides in last 72 Hours

Vidarbha Reports Four more farmers’ suicides in last 72 Hours
NAGPUR –June 4, 2012
The crop failure and delayed relief aid being adjusted in pending crop loan without restructuring  crop loan as per NABARD directives, credit and relief aid starved four more vidarbha distressed farmers killed themselves  in last 72 hours as per reports  available here ,the recent innocent  farmers who become the victims of vidarbha agrarian crisis are identified as
1.Ramesh Sahare of village Athali in Bhandara 
2.Bharat Barai of village kinahla in Wardha
3.Pundlik Rathode of village Rohana devi  in Yavatmal
4.Dhyaneshwar  Akhare of village Hiwarkhed in Amarvati
This takes totally of farmers suicides in vidarbha as per documentation done on the basis local media reports and input provide by local activist network has touched 351 mark where as official crime data report recently published by leading marathi daily  tally is well above 500 as informed by vidarbha cotton farmer’s advocacy group Vidarbha Jandolan Samiti (VJAS).
“In December 2011 Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan announced Rs.2000 crore as relief aid to dying distressed farmers after complete crop cotton ,paddy and soya crop failed due to dry spell and drought in complete vidarbha and marathwada region which is mostly dry land region  but failed to arrange fund till 15th may 2012 but now as amount relief aid  is being credited in to drought hit farmers it is being adjusted in it’s earlier crop loan forcibly even after repeated instruction administration not to do such adjustments .when Govt. has officially  admitted crop failure  and given relief to compensate losses as per NABRAD standing directives all pending short and medium term loan needs reconstructed which has not been done in vidarbha where as in western Maharashtra CM and union agriculture minister too special interest in reconstruction and fresh enhanced crop loan  hence we demand the same for dying farmers of vidarbha”
Tiwari added.
Vidarbha dry land farmers who are subjected for rain sensitive cash crop like cotton and sugarcane needs long term solution after the  recent admission of Mr Sharad Pawar, Union agriculture minister, himself a great proponent of Bt.cotton seed and responsible for it’s permission and promotion in 2005  , in Parliament on Dec-ember 19, 2011: “Vidarbha produces about 1.2 quintals [cotton lint] per hectare on an average.” This is less than 20% of what conventional non-Bt farmers used to get in the late 1990s and early 2000. Vidarbha farmers are losing about Rs 2,000 crore per year, leading to increasing suicides by cotton farmers has exposed truth of success story and dream of second green revolution landing mass genocide of innocent cotton farmers of rain fed area of Maharashtra hence most vocal vidarbha cotton farmer’s advocacy group Vidarbha Jandolan Samiti (VJASa) will start door to door campaign urging all dry land farmers to say ‘Goodbuy’ to Bt.cotton cultivation as it is not sustainable and suitable for dry land farmers  , Kishor Tiwari of vidarbha advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS.) informed today.
“Vidarbha is agrarian crisis is directly linked with as all farmer suicide prone district mono crop  which is predominantly cultivated is Bt.cotton since 2005 and now it is proven fact that it’s classic example  of promoting wrong technology  to wrong class agrarian community as rain sensitive crop has proven killer seed in west vidarbha as 95% farmers opted this technology are dry land farmers hence we have decided to the message of union agriculture   Mr Sharad Pawar that to save vidarbha cotton farmers’ they should say Good buy to Bt.cotton moreover  advisory of ICAR to agriculture ministry after reviewing performance of Bt.cotton through out world Govt. ahs been advised to withdrew but business  interest  of union agriculture   Mr Sharad Pawar delay henc this door to door awareness campaign” Tiwari added.
Activist will urge vidarbha cotton farmers look at the facts that  the told  claims Bt.cotton cultivation are baseless and misleading . In 2004-5 when only 5% of cotton area in India had Bt, the yield was 470 kg per hectar. In 2011-12, when 90% of Indian cotton farms are growing Bt, the estimates are 480kgs per hectar wjere as in Maharashtra the yiels is  measly increase of 4 kg per acre! In Vidarbha, Maharashtra 96% of all cotton is Bt.cotton and the claims that were made to you with expensive Bt cotton seed when it was introduced - that it will reduce pesticide usage, increase yields, reduce cost of cultivation and improve your profits? Ten years later, you know that this did not materialise. Now it is very clear that these are only false hype and failed promises. Government's own research and data show that Bt cotton is unsuitable for unirrigated conditions and shallow soils. In Maharashtra, pesticide use has been steadily increasing despite large scale adoption of Bt cotton and expansion of cotton (from 3198 metric tonnes of technical grade material in 2005-06 to 4639 MT). Further, while the annual average number of farm suicides in the state was 2833 between 1997-2002 (before the entry of Bt cotton), which shot up to 4067, between 2003-08, in the years that Bt cotton expanded rapidly in the state. Meanwhile, nearly 93% of India's cotton seed market is controlled by just one American MNC, today. Crores of rupees have been pocketed by seed companies, even as the pesticides industry is posting good growth, year after year. Original problem was pests. Then, over the years, the problem became pesticides, when they hyped up pesticides as the only solution to your pest problems in cultivation. With Bt cotton, they said that the pesticides problem would be solved. However, today, farmers are dependent on external exploiters for seed, pesticides and fertilisers, with the returns not matching the costs or claims hence it is time we are urging cotton farmers to save ourselves , Tiwari said
“We are appealing dry land farmers who are innocent victims better Bt.cotton seed to look at  neighboring Andhra Pradesh, who farmers have adopted NPM practices in nearly 3.5 lakh acres, across different crops. Debts and migration are coming down in villages with NPM. Savings on spending otherwise going to line companies' pockets is running into crores of rupees. Yields are not falling. Net returns of farmers are increasing. Come, even as we fight the government for all its anti-farmer policies, let us also do what we can at our own level. Let us stop the exploiters from looting us. Let us adopt ecological practices like NPM in our agriculture, and benefit to some extent” Tiwari added.

‘बिगबॉल’चे बोगस बीटी बियाणे दाखल-lokmat

‘बिगबॉल’चे बोगस बीटी बियाणे दाखल- lokmat     

खरीप हंगामातील बाराशे कोटींचा महसूल मिळविण्यासाठी नामांकित कंपन्यामध्ये चढाओढ सुरू आहे. याच सुमारास बोगस बियाणे कंपन्यांनी जिल्ह्यात घुसखोरी केली आहे. या कंपन्या गावपातळीवर शेतकर्‍यांना स्वस्त दरामध्ये बियाणे विकत आहेत. यातून शेतकर्‍यांना लाखोंचा गंडा बसला आहे.
कपाशीचा हंगाम कॅश करण्यासाठी राज्यात ११९ कंपन्या दाखल झाल्या आहेत. या कंपन्या राज्यातील शेतकर्‍यांना दोन कोटी पॅकेट्स पुरविणार आहेत. यातील एक कोटी १४ लाख पॅकेट्स बाजारात आले आहेत. याच सुमारास बोगस बीटी बियाण्यांनी बाजारात धुमाकुळ घातला आहे. महागाव तालुक्यात ‘बिगबॉल’ नावाने बोगस बीटी बियाणे बाजारात आणले आहे. ही कंपनी गावामध्ये जावून शेतकर्‍यांना बियाणे विकत आहे. याचे कुठलेही बियाणे कृषी सेवा केंद्रामध्ये विक्रीला नाही. बीटी बियाण्याचा अधिकृत दर ८३0 ते ९३0 रुपये आहे. त्या तुलनेत या बियाण्याची विक्री ६00 रुपये दराने केली जात आहे. या बॅगवर उत्पादन ठिकाण, बियाण्याचा दर, त्याचे वजन, बियाणे पॅक करण्याची तारीख आदी बाबींचा उल्लेख नाही. ही कंपनी शेतकर्‍यांना कुठलेही बिल देत नाही. गावातील निरक्षर शेतकरी पाहून ही कंपनी शेतकर्‍यांना फसविण्याचे काम करीत आहे. या कंपंनीने गाव, वस्त्या, पोडांवर अनेक पेट्या विकल्या आहे. यातून शेतकर्‍यांची लाखोंची लुट होत आहे.
पॅकेटमध्ये सरकी
बोगस बियाणे कंपनी बाजारातून सरकी विकत घेवून त्यावर प्रक्रिया करीत आहे. यामुळे हे बियाणे उगवणार किंवा नाही, हा प्रश्न आहे. अशा बोगस कंपन्यांकडून शेतकर्‍यांची फसवणूक होवू नये म्हणून भरारी पथक स्थापन करण्यात आले आहे. मात्र या कंपन्या भरारी पथकालाही चकमा देत आहे.
बियाण्यांची चढय़ा दराने विक्र ी
अनेक जिल्ह्यांमध्ये सद्यस्थितीत मोजक्याच वाणाला मागणी आहे. यातून विक्रेत्यांनी ८३0 रुपयांचे बियाणे दीड हजार रुपयात विकण्यास प्रारंभ केला आहे. बियाण्यांच्या या चढय़ा दरामुळे शेतकर्‍यांची लुट होत आहे.
या संदर्भात कृषी आयुक्त उमाकांत दांगट (पुणे) यांच्याशी संपर्क केला असता अशा कुठल्याही कंपनीला परवाना दिला नसल्याचे त्यांनी ‘लोकमत’ला सांगितले. ही कंपनी बोगस आहे. शेतकर्‍यांनी अशा स्वरूपाचे बियाणे घेवू नये, त्यांना सरळ कृषी विभागातील भरारी पथकाच्या स्वाधिन करावे, असेही दांगट यांनी स्पष्ट केले.