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Village for Sale: Farmers in Crisis

Over 25,000 farmers in India have committed suicide between 1990 and 2006, many of whom owed less than Rs.8,000, writes Jaskaran Singh. (Inset): Sikh farmers in a village in Punjab. A farming crisis has led to a spate of suicides in this agriculturally rich state. (Above): A Punjab village. Its outwardly calm exterior belies a severe economic crisis that has hit the farming community. (Photos: Amritsar Times) Amid all the hoopla over India’s much vaunted economic reforms, a silent crisis has been stalking India’s rural hinterland. Amid the bright lights, glitz and glamour of India’s rising clout in IT and BPO, this is a much darker legacy of India’s economic liberalization […]

11782 farmers commit suicide: Report

Parliament of India http://www.headlinesindia.com/archive_html/20March…New Delhi: Asking states to abrogate a law that provides for arrest of defaulting farmers, a Parliamentary Committee on Tuesday said the suicide of 11,782 farmers during last five years is attributable to distress sale of their produce and continuous crop failures. “The Committee is shocked to learn that in some states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, there is a law to arrest farmers who default in repayment of loans. Moreover, they are not only kept in jail but the expenditure incurred on their food, transport and others things in jail is also said be to recovered from them”, the report tabled in Parliament said. The Standing […]

Farmers find their voice in 'Chamber of Punjab Farmers'

http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsi… Amrita Chaudhry Ludhiana, March 8: FOR long, it has been the industry that has been the engine of policy making. From taxation to excise, the industry takes care of all sectors. Even the agriculture sector gets its policies designed by industrialists, who have little clue about the socio-economic fabric of agriculture. But all this will change, at least in Punjab, where farmers have a formal platform, “Chamber of Punjab Farmers”, as their spokesperson. It has been six months now that this chamber came into being and after the initial teething troubles, it has started to make its presence felt on the state scene. Avtar Singh Dhindsa, well-known progressive farmer […]

Task ahead for new government: Green agenda for sustainable Punjab

http://www.countercurrents.org/en-dutt030307.htm By Umendra Dutt 03 March, 2007Countercurrents.org The SAD-BJP government has assumed office in Punjab. Obviously the new government will announce its plan with in few days. These elections were fought on the issue of development. It is a fashion to brand every economic and construction activity –the development. The development has become very catchy phrase these days. Every body talks about development, but despite being known as developed state Punjab is experiencing the burns of this so-called development. It is one of most debt ridden state; it has witnessed thousands of farmers’ suicides, its environment is one of most degraded, it has almost lost its precious wealth of natural […]

Burden of credit for Punjab farmers

Arijit Barman http://www.ibnlive.com/news/burden-of-credit-for-p… CNN-IBN Posted Tuesday , February 20, 2007 at 20:03 Updated Tuesday , February 20, 2007 at 20:41 LOAN MOAN: Stats show an average farming family in Punjab has more to repay than families anywhere else in India. Punjab: Naseeb Kaur is a widow. Her husband committed suicide almost a decade ago, to escape the Rs 7 lakh debt burden. Kaur managed to marry off three of her daughters, but in the bargain, she had to part with the one hectare acre land she owned for she had to give that as dowry. Today, her daily existence is a continuous struggle and the debt the last thing on […]

Punjab and Gujarat-Rich states, rich politicians, poor track records, negative images

http://www.isvarmurti.com/2007/02/19/punjab-and-gu… The NDTV show on the Punjab farmer’s suicides came as a rude shock! The heart-breaking scenes, the tears and misery of the women who lost their husbands were too much to bear viewing for long. Yet, the feature did a great national service for highlighting what is held back from the public view the many contradictions and distortions that have come to characterise Punjab agriculture. What was often highlighted, made great public displays in the newspapers and TV channels is the Bharti Mittal’s Wal-Mart foray or Pepsi Company’s entry into the agri sector. The Green Revolution creates a false image and that false image had stuck in public memory, […]

Sorrow tale of Jajjal: the village cursed by cancer

http://www.countercurrents.org/en-dutt140207.htm By Umendra Dutt 14 February, 2007Countercurrents.org It is going to be five years that Jajjal village earned fame in media and administration. In 2002 when for the first time a retired government teacher Jarnail Singh bring out the issue of abnormally high incidences of cancer deaths in Jajjal and some adjoining villages. Till then village has witnessed about 20 cancer deaths and several new cancer cases. This small village has 500 odd households with population of 3500. There is no respite for the Jajjal residents. During last five years several experts and study teams from across the country visited the village, the surveys was done and stories were appeared […]

The forgotten issues of environment crisis in Punjab elections

UMENDRA DUTT Friday, 09 February 2007 It is election time in Punjab. Parties are promising moon to the voters. Every body has started talking about development. Election manifestos are painting a rosy picture of a Developed Punjab. But, none of them is kind enough to tell what will be cost of this development? This so-called development has already taken a heavy toll. Severe ecological and environmental health crises are quite visible in Punjab now. This environmental crisis has eclipsed the very sustainability, livelihood and the prosperity of the Punjab.  But, unfortunately no political party has taken serious note of this. None of the party manifesto has touched the environmental crisis […]

Green revolution's cancer train

  Pesticides and cancer: a murderous concoction, a massive environmental and health disaster, while people are dying in village after village of PunjabBy Sandeep Yadav Faridkot/MuktsarDespite the relentless suffering, 41-year-old Karamjeet Kaur is not scared of death. Member of a proud, landed family in Kotbhai village in district Muktsar, this mother of three has been diagnosed with uterus cancer. The revelation has brought no change in her daily chores, except that she has to travel long distance for periodic check-ups at the Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Treatment and Research Centre, at Bikaner, in Rajasthan. Her hair has turned white due to illness and heavy medicines, and her face is weary […]

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