Saturday, 26 January 2013

Vidarbha farmers protest with prayers on R-Day-By Indo Asian News Service


Vidarbha farmers protest with prayers on R-Day


Nagpur, Jan 26 (IANS) As the nation celebrated the Republic Day, thousands of farmers fromMaharashtra's Vidarbha region Saturday worshipped portraits ofpolitical leaders and undertook a day-long fast to seek the government's intervention in resolving the agrarian crisis in the region.
Over 300 widows and 2,000 farmers gathered at the Maregaon village temple in Yavatmal district to offer prayers. They prayed that their leaders realise and accept that the ongoing crisis would kill more farmers if corrective measures were not taken immediately.
The farmers garlanded with flowers portraits of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar andMaharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, and worshipped them with incense sticks and lamps.
"Today's protest is a last-ditch effort to put Vidarbha on the national radar as day after day framers are killing themselves due to high debt. But neither the state nor the central government is paying any heed to poor farmers' problems," said Kishore Tiwari, president ofVidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) -- a farmers' advocacy group.
Last year, a parliamentary panel headed by Basudeo Acharya visited Maregaon village to look into the causes of agrarian crisis and submitted its report to parliament.
"The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government at the centre has turned a blind eye to the farmers' issues, while the parties in opposition have no agenda to save the dying farmers who are victims of wrong policies and technology promoted by the state," Tiwari added.
Tiwari said the 11 districts in Vidarbha region have seen about 11,000 suicides since 2005. According to him, as many as 22 farmers have committed suicide in January so far.
"The failure of the BT cotton crop in the region's 4.2 million hectare of land has forced farmers to sell their produce at throw away prices. There has been no state intervention or compensation. This is driving bankrupt farmers to kill themselves," he said.
"The administration is busy in painting a rosy picture of bumper crops, which is adding fuel to the fire," Tiwari added.
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Friday, 25 January 2013

Farm widows seek divine intervention -Suicide-prone Vidarbha region angered by government apathy-GulfNews


Farm widows seek divine intervention

Suicide-prone Vidarbha region angered by government apathy


  • By Pamela Raghunath, Correspondent
  • Published: 17:38 January 25, 2013


“Day after day famers are killing themselves due to high debt and the persisting agrarian crisis and yet neither the concerned state or union minister, media or even civil society has a single candle to light for these poor farmers,” says Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), an organization representing farmers in this region.
Talking to Gulf News on telephone from Nagpur, Tiwari said more than 2000 farmers committed suicide in the worst-hit district of Yavatmal and the Vidarbha region comprising 11 districts saw 11,000 suicides since 2005. “Six more farmers committed suicide in the last 72 hours taking the toll to 20 in this new year.” The region has over three million cotton farmers. The failure of the Bt cotton crop in 4.2 million hectares of land has led to farmers off loading raw cotton at throw away prices since there has been no state intervention or compensation, he says, driving bankrupt farmers to kill themselves.


When the country celebrates Republic Day, “over 300 widows of farmers who committed suicide and 2000 farmers will congregate at the Maregaon village temple in Yavatmal district to pray and wish that Chavan and Pawar realize the ongoing tragedy before them and take necessary steps to save us,” said Bebitai Bais, President of Vidarbha Farmers’ Widows Association. Maregaon village is where a parliamentary panel headed by MP Basudeo Acharya visited last year to look into the causes of agrarian crisis and submitted its report to the Indian Parliament. “However, nothing came of it,” she says.

The irony of it all, says Tiwari, is that the Maharashtra government is spending millions of rupees on agriculture exhibitions in Nagpur, Yavatmal, Amaravati and Akola whilst Bharatiya Janata Party’s ex-president Nitin Gadkari will organize the Agro-Vision show in February, “denying relief and aid to starving farm widows and their families. Distressed farmers are not being given food security, health care or educational help even after the National Commission for Farmers headed by Dr M. S. Swaminathan and the Dr Narendra Jadhav Committee recommended the same.” The recent Rs 7.78 billion fund announced for drought assistance to Maharasthra has left out any mention of debt-trapped farmers of Vidarbha, said 

Monday, 21 January 2013

7 farmers die in first 3 weeks in Vidarbha-DNA


7 farmers die in first 3 weeks in Vidarbha

DNA / Yogesh Pawar / Tuesday, January 22, 2013 6:49 IST

The first major festival of the new year, Makar Sankranti, has brought into sharp focus the plight of farmers in the suicide capital of the country, Vidarbha.
Two debt-ridden cotton farmers — Sanjay Mohurle, 42, of Dorli village and Ramu Shende, 34, of Manoli village in the Ghatanji tehsil of Yavatmal district — staring at drought-induced crop loss committed suicide on January 14.
This takes the toll for 2013 alone to seven. With four of the other five suicides also from Yavatmal (one is from Akola district), it has cruelly underlined once again how this district continues to be the epicentre of the agrarian crisis, which has forced nearly 8,500 dry land farmers to end their lives across Vidarbha due to debt since 2005.
DNA had reported on January 14 about how the Centre’s announcement last Thursday of Rs778 crore as aid for drought assistance to Maharashtra from the National Disaster Response Fund left out any mention of the crisis sweeping through the Vidarbha region had left many shocked.
On an average, three farmers end their lives every 24 hours in the region which has been reeling under its worst agrarian crisis ever due to truant rainfall leading to massive crop failure in cotton, paddy, pulses and soybean.
“The government’s aggressive drive to push GM cotton in order to benefit one bio-tech MNC since 2005 only compounded the problems faced by farmers. Now, though the government has had rethink on GM cotton, the damage is done and farmers trapped in debt spirals are not finding a way out,” lamented Kishore Tiwari of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, which has been spearheading the farm rights movement in the region.“Unless the government wakes up this crisis, the coming summer could see this problem only getting worse.”
Repeated attempts to reach Maharashtra agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil for a reaction drew a blank.
URL of the article: http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_7-farmers-die-in-first-3-weeks-in-vidarbha_1791221-all


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Vidarbha braces for further debt suicides as drought strikes in Maharashtra-



Vidarbha braces for further debt suicides as drought strikes in Maharashtra


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2265554/
Vidarbha-braces-debt-suicides-drought-strikes-Maharashtra.html?ito=feeds-newsxml


A spell of drought in Maharashtra has sparked fears of a spurt in suicides by farmers in the Vidarbha region again.
Nearly a thousand debt-ridden farmers in the region ended their lives last year. Activists and farmers' groups fear the figure could easily double this year as most parts of the state are reeling under drought. 
At least 10 farmers had already committed suicide by January 15 - with three killing themselves on January 14 alone. 
Worried about the spate of farmer suicides, the Maharashtra government is preparing to transport drinking water and cattle feed to drought-struck areas
Worried about the spate of farmer suicides, the Maharashtra government is preparing to transport drinking water and cattle feed to drought-struck areas
"We fear that the suicide figure would be definitely higher this year. The lack of rains is bound to result in crop failures throughout the state, with farmers suffering huge losses. 
"We are also sure that the state government, like always, will do little to help them, leaving them with no option but to take the extreme step," said Kishore Tiwari of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), an organisation fighting for farmers. 
The worried state government has held a number of meetings and is making arrangements to transport drinking water and cattle feed to the drought-prone areas. 
However, farmers say insensitive politicians and bureaucrats use the drought only to fill their pockets. 
"The politicians from the Congress and NCP are simply interested in earning money, for them every disaster is an opportunity to earn money," alleged Raju Shetti, an MP from Hatakanaggale in Kolhapur and leader of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana. 
"It's a common knowledge that false bills are generated for providing tanker water and cattle feed shelters. The money is actually pocketed by officials and the politicians." 
farmer deaths in 2012

Shetti said things would only change if the Centre steps in, as the state government lacks the will to do anything. 
"We have toured the drought-hit villages. All the farmers there have the same thing to say - that they are fed up of waiting for government measure every year. 
"The central government should form a permanent authority to implement programme for drought hit areas in all parts of the country. That is the only effective solution," Shetti said. 
Tiwari of VJAS said a strong and effective regulatory mechanism could also improve the situation. 
"There is black marketing of seeds, fertilizers and even pesticides. There are dummy seeds being sold. The farmers are being fleeced from all the fronts. So they are often forced to borrow huge amounts of money and thus fall into the trap of money lenders," he said.


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Saturday, 19 January 2013

Six more farmers end life in Vidarbha-TIMES OF INDIA



Six more farmers end life in Vidarbha

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Six-more-farmers-end-life-in-Vidarbha/articleshow/18095215.cms
NAGPUR: There seems to be a sudden spurt in farmers' suicides in Vidarbha. Farm suicides were on decline in the last few months. However, according the Vidarbha Jan AndolanSamitiwhich keeps a track of farmers' suicides, in last two days six cases were reported from the region taking the toll to 16 this month.

The six deceased farmers have been identified as Namdeo Thoke of Benoda village and Gajanan Nagle of Khed (both in Amravati district), Balaji Thaori of Dahegoan (Zari) in Yavatmal, Dinkar Navarkhede of Sakhari village, Ramdas Gohane of Chittegoan, and Gajanan Raut of Jawrabori in Chandrapur district.

On the eve of Makar Sankranti four suicides were reported, claimed VJAS' Kishore Tiwari. He alleged that there is disconnect between the government and the farmers, who are in a pitiable situation. "Cotton crop has failed once again. Moreover, the government has failed to protect the cotton growers who are now forced to sell raw cotton at throwaway prices because of poor demand," said Tiwari.

"An urgent relief on the price front and compensation for crop loss can provide a healing touch and check the distress that is forcing farmers to commit suicide. To draw attention of the government, farmers and farm widows would sit on a daylong protest fast on Republic Day at Maregoan village in Yavatmal district," said Tiwari

He also pointed out that the state government kept Vidarbha out of the purview of relief assistance sought from the Central government. As a reason, observers sent from New Delhi did not visit this region. Last Thursday the Centre had announced Rs778 crore drought assistance package for the state. "It is shocking that no area from Vidarbha is included in this package," said Tiwari.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Four more farmers commit suicide in Vidarbha-HINDU


News » National

Published: January 18, 2013 17:21 IST | Updated: January 18, 2013 17:21 IST

Four more farmers commit suicide in Vidarbha

Staff Reporter
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/four-more-farmers-commit-suicide-in-vidarbha/article4319707.ece

Four more farmers have committed suicide in Vidarbha region during the last 24 hours.
Out of the four suicides, three suicides have been reported from Chandrapur district and one suicide from Amravati district.
Dinkar Navarkhede, 58 , of village Vagobe Sakhari in Rajura Tehsil, Gajanan Raut,36, of village Jawara Bori under Bhisi police station and Raghunath Gohane,40,of village Chitegaon in Mul tehsil of Chandrapur district,  killed themselves on Thursday, according to some reports reaching here.
One suicide was reported from Amravati district.
Janarao Nagale of Khed village in Amravati district, committed suicide on Thursday, informed the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS).
According to Chimur police sources, Raut consumed  poison after he was unable to repay loans amounting to Rs.30,000.
Navarkhede also consumed poison while Mr.Gohane hanged himself in his farm, according to the police.
According to the VJAS, huge debt and the inability to pay it due to crop failure, was the main reason behind all these suicides.
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Monday, 14 January 2013

Vidarbha sees seven farmer suicides this year-DNA


DNA / Yogesh Pawar / Tuesday, January 15, 2013 2:00 IST
URL of the article: http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_vidarbha-sees-seven-farmer-suicides-this-year_1788963-all


Seven farmers have committed suicide in Vidarbha in the first fortnight of 2013. Two debt-ridden cotton farmers staring at drought-induced crop loss — Sanjay Mohurle, 42, of Dorli village and Ramu Shende, 34, of Manoli village in the Ghatanji tehsil of Yavatmal district — committed suicide on Monday.
With four of the other five suicides also from Yavatmal (one is from Akola), it has underlined yet again how Vidarbha continues to be the epicentre of the agrarian crisis which has forced nearly 8,500 dryland farmers to end their lives across the district due to debt since 2005. On an average, three farmers kill themselves every 24 hours in the region, which has been reeling under its worst agrarian crisis.
The crisis in Vidarbha is due to truant rainfall leading to massive crop failure in cotton, paddy, pulses and soybean.
DNA on Monday reported how the Centre’s announcement last Thursday of Rs778 crore as aid for drought assistance to Maharashtra from the National Disaster Response Fund left out any mention of the crisis sweeping through the Vidarbha region.“The government’s aggressive drive to push GM cotton in order to benefit one bio-tech MNC since 2005 only cruelly compounded the problems faced by farmers. Now though the government has had a rethink on GM cotton, the damage is done and farmers trapped in debt spirals are not finding a way out,” lamented Kishore Tiwari of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti which has been spearheading the farm rights movement in the region. “Unless the government wakes up to this crisis, the coming summer could see this problem only getting worse.”
Maharashtra’s agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil could not be reached for comment.