Pradip Kumar Maitra
Nagpur, February 27, 2006
There is no sign of suicides abating in the killing field of Vidarbha! Twelve more farmers have ended their lives in last 48 hours, according to reports reaching in Nagpur on Tuesday.
With the deaths of 12 more farmers the toll has now reach 79 this month while the figure touched 149 this year. Three suicides were reported in Amravati, two each from Yavatmal, Akola and Washim while one each in Buldhana and Wardha district.
They were identified as: Prabhakar Savai of Kalamla village, Suresh Banapure, Nandgaonpeth, Pawan Sadhashiv of Khushta village (all in Amravati), Ganesh Tike of Masani, Shriram Jelas of Pohradevi (both in Washim), Sakharam Choudhary, Jarur, Rahul Chinche (both in Yavatmal), Someshwar Sarkate of Wani-Rambhapur, Santosh Dhandale, Paras (both in Akola) Parmeshwar Bongale of Jamulghat (Chandrapur), Mohan Giri, Manoda (Buldhana) and Ramkrishna Gainar of Rohna village in Wardha district.
The Vilasrao Deshmukh government which has been claiming for pumping huge money to stem the on-going crisis, miserably failed to do so even after `implementations’ of over Rs 5,000-crore relief packages of PM and state government. The much hyped, Art of Living programme in several villages in the region even could not give much dividends.
Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti alleged that most of the farmers were the victims of ongoing loan recovery drive of the banks. “The prime minister’s package made it clear that the farmers would get at least one-year moratorium on recovery of loans.
However, all banks recovered their loans, virtually forcefully from farmers with the help of state-run cotton marketing cooperative federation during selling their raw cotton. Moreover, banks have also launched their loan recovery drive,” he further pointed out and said that the agricultural crisis that is forcing them to take such desperate step of coming suicide.
Talking to Hindustan Times, SK Goel, the divisional commissioner of Amravati, who has been supervising the relief packages, denied that there was any forcible loan recovery from banks. However, he admitted that the farmers of Vidarbha were facing hardship because of high cost of agro-inputs and meagre price of their produces.