Prathiba disappointed us, says Vidarbha farm widow

Prathiba disappointed us, says Vidarbha farm widow

Prathiba disappointed us, says Vidarbha farm widow

Outgoing President Pratibha Patil did nothing to help thousands of starving farm widows of Vidarbha, an activist Monday alleged.

"Veteran Congress leader Pratibha Patil is from Maharashtra and has spent a long span of her political career and is aware of the worst agrarian crisis that has hit Vidarbha - ill famed as the farmers' suicide capital," said Aparna Malikar, secretary of Vidarbha Farm Widows' Association (WFWA).

Malikar, herself a farmer's widow, has been troubled by her in-laws following her husband's death. She also appeared on popular television show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' earlier this year.

Malikar said former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam after his visit to Yavatmal district in Vidarbha in July 2007 held a special meeting with Vidarbha farm widows.

"He wrote a series of letters to the concerned departments in the central government and requested them to attend to issues raised by farm widows," Malikar said.
"When Patil became the president, in spite of visiting a town in Yavatmal district, she failed to give even five minutes of her time to these farm widows," she claimed.

Malikar said that she even wrote to Patil asking her to intervene in the unjust atrocities on her by her in-laws and that there are several such cases.

"Till date I have not received even an acknowledgement for my letter. We have been demanding basic rights of food security, land ownership, education to our daughter and family pensions to thousands of starving farm widows but all these demands have only met deaf ears," Malikar said.

Malikar pointed out that it is an unwritten tradition for a president to visit his/her home state not more than six times a year. "But Patil has made double the visits and has still failed to look into any of our problems," the widow said.

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