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1,988 farmers committed suicide in Sangli over 4 years, but only 18 families received state relief  #WTFnews

As Few As 39 Marked As Deaths Due To Debt; Activists Sceptical
In Sangli district, 1,988 farmers committed suicide between January 2011 and October 2015 and only 39 cases were attributed to debt burden, says information accessed through the Right to Information Act. Of the 39, only 18 families — less than 1% of all affected families — have received compensation from the state.The figures hold up a huge gap between the deaths in a largely agricultural district and the state’s attempt to provide relief, hinting at possible underreporting of farm distress or poor probe into the suicides, say activists, adding that the situation must be manifold worse in the drought-hit areas. In western Maharashtra’s Sangli, in which 70% land is under agriculture involving over 74% of the population, many of the 10 talukas are drought-prone.

The records obtained by RTI activist Jitendra Ghadge show many reasons like “mental disorders”, “family problems” or “alcoholism” attributed for the deaths in the police records, which are key in government decisions to grant compensation for suicides. But the noting against hundreds of cases was “unknown reason”, raising doubts about the authenticity of the probe, and the sincerity of the police and the revenue administration in mitigating the distress of farmers.

“If this is the situation in a district like Sangli, one can imagine the plight of farmers and their families in drought-hit Marathwada, Vidarbha and Khandesh,“ said Ghadge, demanding a statewide scrutiny of farmer suicides so that any truly distressed family is not overlooked by the state.

“The system of ascertai ning suicides and compensation is too technical and bureaucratic which has led to rampant ignorance of genuine cases. We need to fix the accountability of officers in handling the cases,” said Kishor Tiwari, chairman of the state-level task force to save distressed farmers.

The government should ask the bureaucracy down the line to revisit and review all the suicides to do away with under-reporting and decide on aid on humanitarian grounds, he added.

“Just compensating death is not the task, but gauging the vulnerability of dependents and ensuring food security, health and education to them should be taken care of. We need to bring the farmers and their families above a certain economic level.” Ghadge pointed out more than 200 suicides had been attributed to alcoholism, but no attempt to analyse why people were taking to the addiction despite the establishment of de-addic tion machinery with the help of NGOs again showed lapses on the part of the administration.

Talking about under-reporting of farm distress suicides, social activist Medha Patkar said the administration needs to get to the root of the problem.

“There is a need to scientifically analyse suicides so as to take sustainable measures to stop them in the longer term instead of taking just a few pragmatic steps here and there. I think there is a huge gap between agriculture and other sectors which should be bridged to avoid the risky market-based economy of farmers. More and more subsidies and compensations are actually making farmers a debtridden entity. We need to take peasants away from this vicious circle and instill a sense of confidence by bringing all related sectors such as power, water, fertilizers, researchers, suppliers and other infrastructure closer to them,” she said.

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Comment (1)

  1. asha

    it is showing deplorable state of farmers in our country, debt is a big illness for any individual who owe it, it becomes severe if its recovery goes beyond the total financial value of an individual because it then generates negativity or stress in an individual and mental disorders and alcoholism takes place in his/her life more smoothly…..
    Debt can bring suicidal ideas inside a mind and it becomes a trend when it is something as a common problem of all individuals of any particular area or village or state. Farmers are like god but the disturbed weather cycle is pushing them towards suicidal practices so gods are decreasing on my planet day by day and funny homo-sapiens are even not registering their deaths correctly because it is 18 for 1988….
    Global warming is responsible for climatic changes and we all are responsible for global warming but it is solely self organized when i watch it through a book named “Collapse”. It is alright that some of our nations have made plenty amount of bigger buildings and roads and other things on the name of modern architect and standard and something so everyone feel proud on the name of artistic construction, it is good that we all are running through horse powers of modern engines which are converting this planet’s limited fuel into pollution, it is completely justifiable that everything on the name of modern amenities is contributing towards the global pollution making, if we come then we go, if birth takes place then death also comes for it, if we make something then something automatically starts which later on finishes it……..
    I am worrying about the farmers because most of them are uneducated, they cant even calculate compound interest or simple interest while unauthorized local micro finance providers steal their everything through their enigmatically tricky interest rates, i am talking about the marginal farmers of my country who often use this way. I have seen it in north Indian premises and i am just replicating same thing for farmers of maharashtra.
    Let me write something more about the farmers which is not here in your article, i am worrying about the use of DDT and other chemicals, it is banned in all developed countries while our farmers are happily using it without even thinking about its dangerous side effects or just effects. It is more harmful than the plastic itself because it contains versatile persistence power, it maximizes production but no body is feeling the logic behind its magic, no body is worrying about unnatural growth of their crops while we all know it that we should not use anything for altering any natural reaction because unlike artificial all natural reactions are meaningful and if we cant understand anything then it does not mean that it does not contain any meaningful logic, farmers are not thinking about the cost of their shortcuts, government’s silence is a main reason behind farmer’s suicide else every possibility of loss of a farmer is easily traceable.

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