In a surprising development, the Maharashtra government has decided to appoint a prominent farmers' activist to head a panel to curb farmland suicides and recommend agro-reforms.
Tentatively named 'Farmers Distress Management Task Force', it will be headed by Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) president Kishore Tiwari, who has spent over 15 years in the field of the agriculture crises.
"Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called me up and informed me about the government decision," Tiwari told IANS.
A veteran of farmers' movements, Tiwari, 56, plans to streamline and ensure implementation of food, health and financial security in the 14 districts worst hit by agrarian crises, farmer suicides and other issues.
"Since the past decade, several reports of several central and state experts' commissions are either idling or are poorly implemented. I shall study these and suggest to the government ways and means to implement them and prevent farmer suicides," Tiwari said.
He said Fadnavis has assured that the recommendations of the proposed panel - which would have executive powers - would be implemented on priority.
Tiwari was an activist of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party but was moved by farmer's plight.
Around 2000, he gave up mainstream politics and offers from the corporate world to dedicate himself to the cause of peasants.
VIDARBHA JANANDOLAN SAMITI PRESIDENT – KISHORE TIWARI, B.E. (Mech.Engg.), M.B.A., LL.B., M.A. (Pub. & Admn.), M.A. Sociology, M.I.S. (USA), Fellow - I.E.H., Fellow – Institution of Engineers (India)- CHARTERED ENGINEER BACKGROUND : Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti is fighting for the cause of common man since 1998. Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti is constantly pursuing its battle on various fronts like – a.Administrative b.Judicial c.Quasi-judicial d.Legislative e.Parliamentary f.International levels PUBLIC ISSUES : 1.Farmers suicides 2.Mal nutrition of Tribals. 3.Plights of Rural economy 4.Drinking water 5.Right to Food 6.Right to Education 7.Problems of Minorities 8.Issue of Separate Statehood to Vidarbha THE EFFECT OF MOVEMENT : The continued follow up and Jan Andolans of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti has resulted in many success broadly classified as – 1.Waiver of small farmers crop loans 2.interest remission to marginal farmers 3.right to food to the lacs of tribals. 4.Primary Education to every rural students. 5.Farmers packages 6.BPL benefits to thousands of poor families. 7.Justice to unwed mothers