Three Vidarbha farmers commit suicide

 The trend of suicides in Vidarbha, known as the white gold belt of Maharashtra, continued with three more farmers taking their lives on Saturday, according to a watchdog.

Talking to Deccan Herald over the phone from Nagpur, Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti said: “We have received confirmed reports from the interiors that three debt-ridden farmers — Mangesh More of Virud village at Chandrapur, Champat Shendre of Junapani village at Wardha and Vasant Rathode of Kinhala village at Yavatmal—took their lives on Saturday. The total number of “farmland” suicides this year till now has gone up to 624.

Tiwari said: “And we are not taking into account suicides which are the result of other socio-psychological factors. We only record suicides which are a result of politico-economic policies. While state Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan may be celebrating his second anniversary on the chair as well as Dhanteras and Diwali, the air in Vidharbha reeks of despondency.”

The suicide rate among the agrarian community is a result of an interplay of various factors and could not be reduced to one cause.

BT crop menace

But, the introduction of BT cotton and cash crop like soya bean due to pest attacks, erratic rain coupled with increasing cultivation costs were the key traps “taking lives of farmers.”

Moreover, the government had not bothered to intervene and check the slide in the market prices of these crops; in other words the farmers are forced to off-load their crops at dirt cheap prices amidst a system with no bail out structures or credit facilities.
Tiwari pointed out that in the coming season the death knell would continue in Vidharbha, “unless the government intervenes, restore credit facilities for the next cultivation season and arrange for food and health security for the agrarian community.”

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