VISHAL NARAYAN Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Kishore Ingale, Bhanudas Wadadkar, Pankaj Gawande, Shankar Khadse, and the women farmers – Kundabai Lonkar, Kamala Warhade and Vasanta Gingavkar – from Wadad village in Wardha District have been made to shuttle between one department to another for their compensation money, to which every farmer is entitled in situation of crop destruction as a result of hailstorm or any other natural contingency.
“The situation has become so bad that these seven peasants have approached the district officials requesting their green signal to end their lives,” said Kishore Tiwari, president of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, an NGO working for farmers’ rights.
It was around 10 days ago that these farmers wrote the ‘pre-suicide letter’ to their local ‘tehsildar’ and even walked up to his office, the bemused official gave his acknowledgement to the bizarre plea and forwarded it to the Collector’s office which too gave its official acknowledgment, said Tiwari.
The government allows a compensation of Rs 4000 to every farmer whose crop was destroyed in the previous year. But getting the officials to disburse that money is quite a hard job for these farmers, some of whom decide to end their lives instead of waiting for the frugal and incredibly delayed payments.
“For over six months, the money remains locked up in bank accounts as the district authorities are not clearing the disbursal. This is now forcing the farmers to write letters and ask for ‘clearance’ before committing suicide,” Tiwari said.
Meanwhile, the ongoing dry spell in the region has claimed 35 lives in last 12 days. These include seven from Yavatmal, five from Amravati, four from Wardha, two each from Akola and Buldhana, one each from Bhandara, Chandrapur and Washim districts.
These include seven from Yavatmal, five from Amravati, four from Wardha, two each from Akola and Buldhana, one each from Bhandara, Chandrapur and Washim districts.
The dry spell and crop losses are estimated at around Rs. 8,000-10,000 per acre, pushing the farmers into deeper debt traps