Monday, October 21, 2013

Farm suicides on rise, toll 671: VJAS-TIMES OF INDIA

Farm suicides on rise, toll 671: Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti

TNN | Oct 22, 2013, 06.10 AM IST

NAGPUR: The farm suicides in Vidarbha seem to be again on the rise after some time. With three more deaths in the last 24 hours, the toll for the current year since January has gone up to 671, claimed Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, a farmers advocacy group tracking the situation for last 15 years. 

Ashok Kharkate, of village Sirasgoan (Dhanyad), and Omdeo Supare, of village Vela, (both in Wardha district) and Kailash Dudhade, of Borgai in Yavatmal, were identified as the latest victims to have ended their lives. Excessive rains and floods, which left land spanning lakhs of hectares waterlogged and unfit for farming, seems to have caused the latest bout of despair among the rain-dependent farmers of the region. The Navratri celebrations were marred in the region due to 13 farm suicides from the cotton, soyabean growing areas of western Vidarbha. 

While there is no mechanism to validate each of these reported suicides, district administrations often record these deaths as accidental or blame it on reasons like alcoholism or family problems. But VJAS president Kishore Tiwari has charged the state and the Centre of apathy and inaction in terms of providing the promised relief measures. 

"Not a paisa of the Rs 2000 crore relief announced by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has reached the affected farmers and this has exacerbated the crisis," Tiwari pointed out. He has also claimed that the official figures of suicides announced by the government from time to time in Parliament do not differ much from what VJAS has been claiming. "There is an urgent need for Union government to intervene to provide a healing touch to the farming community crying for food, medicine and aid," Tiwari stressed.

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