INDIA: Forty-five days, 93 suicides. 2015 has started quite ominously for farmers in the perennially parched Marathwada region and activists blamed the fickle weather and the delay in release of government compensation for this.
The divisional commissionerate has reported as many as 93 farmers’ suicides in Marathwada in the last 45 days since January 1. Last year, the region had reported 569 farmers’ suicides as against 207 in 2013.
A committee of each taluka comprising the tehsildar, police officer, taluka agriculture officer, sarpanch and a panchayat samiti member probes a suicide case to confirm if the death was due to debt burden. A farmer committing suicide is eligible for compensation only if he possesses land and is debt-ridden. Moreover, he should have taken loan only from either nationalized or co-operative banks and registered money-lenders. There has to be follow up from the banks concerned for the repayment of the loan.
Divisional commissioner Umakant Dangat said, “Farmer suicide is one of the biggest challenges before the administration. Crop failure and debts are considered the main reasons for farmers’ suicide. This is common in an area where the single crop pattern is in practice. Ensuring water security for the farmers via water management is the solution to the problem in a region like Marathwada.”