By Shivanand Kabade:
Jai Jawan Jai Kisan was the slogan when India won 1965 war against Pakistan and the “Kisan”, the farmer, was said to be the backbone of Indian economy and has remained a very crucial factor for many years. Until last decade, around 70% of Indian population resided in rural and village area; although, some of them seem to be migrating into the nearest metro cities in the recent years for employment and education purposes.
In recent years, it is observed that many farmers have committed suicides because of the failure in paying their debts. This has been seen comparatively more in Maharashtra. In Sangli and Solapur district, it has become a common thing nowadays and people are reacting less vigorously to such instances as the days pass by.
According to National Crime Records Bureau report in 2010, 3141 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra which increased later in 2011, when 3337 farmers committed suicide which is the highest in the country.
Government always seems to announce some economic packages and rehabilitation programs but it has been a mystery as to where the packages are absorbed and the real Kisan does not get the deserved benefits of such packages or help programs.
To some extent, loan waiver schemes and packages from the government rehabilitation programs benefited for repayment of the cooperative banks and societies which lent money to farmers and later fresh loans were made available, but no significant measures were taken to increase the income of farmers which needs to be given high priority in the long term view.
Farmers in the area seem to be going through severe financial crisis but the administration authorities, who pass on the government aid packages to such farmers, were not even ready to accept this situation. It is seen that sometimes local administration claims that the farmer committed suicide due to personal reasons and not due to financial crisis and by such reply they seem to avoid their responsibility, thereby neglecting the real horrible situation that farmers are facing.
There are thousands of farmers going through crop failure problems due to lack of rainfall and are unable to repay loans, hence, ultimately fail to perform family duties such as education or wedding functions etc. and in the end, such debt-ridden farmers, under nerve-wracking situations commit suicide.
Now there seems to be drought like situation across the country, mostly in Sangli and Solapur districts of Maharashtra, and it will be the biggest problem if no rainfall occurs in coming days. On the contrary, at some places it is also seen that crop is lost due to the recent flood and farmers are unable to get timely government help.
Now it is the Central and State government’s duty to act promptly on the current situation, which majority of farmers are facing. Certain and effective measures are needed to be taken and administration officers should implement the rehabilitation programs and other measures honestly, to avoid further damage to the farmers’ lives and their families.