Tuesday, August 21, 2007

21 farmers end lives in 3 days

21 Aug 2007, 0436 hrs IST, TNN

NAGPUR: The unending series of suicides among farmers in the region has claimed 21 lives in the last three days, taking the toll this year to 595.

According to Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), the 21 farmers who ended their lives included four each from Yavatmal and Akola districts, three each from Washim and Amravati, two each from Buldhana and Gadchiroli and one each from Chandrapur and Wardha districts.

VJAS president Kishore Tiwari said farmers in western Vidarbha were severely hit by the recent heavy rains. Most of the recent victims had taken the drastic step because the local banks refused to give them fresh loans as they failed to repay their dues.
With heavy rains causing damage in the current kharif season, the affected farmers had no resources for re-sowing. VJAS has urged prime minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in the matter. The PM is expected to review the Rs 3,750 crore special relief package on August 30 at a meeting here.

Tiwari said it was high time the main demands of the farmers—loan waiver, restoration of advance bonus under the cotton monopoly scheme and enhancement of guarantee price to Rs 2,500 along with food security and free health care—were accepted by the government.

Disputing the government claims that the suicide cases on purely agrarian reasons had declined drastically, Tiwari reiterated that both the relief packages of the state as well as the one announced by the PM had failed to reduce the prevailing distress among farmers.

International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO), of the Indian subcontinent, is a NGO, with national focus and overseas lobby network. It agitates both in India and internationally.


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