Just a thought

Farmer suicides in Chhattisgarh (India)

Posted by stringofthoughts on April 7, 2009

I woke up this morning. Picked up the newspaper and the same news all again terror strike, bomb blasts etc. It’s become so common that it doesn’t even surprise me anymore. But what did surprise me was the news of farmer suicide in Chhattisgarh, my home state. I had never heard of farmer suicide in my state. Only in Vidarbha (Maharastra). The suicide figure of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh combined is second in the country.

This is from a report of National Crime Record Bureau

A total of 17,060 Farmers’ suicides were reported in 2006, of which the maximum ie 4453 were from Maharashtra . The second rank was held by Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for which the figure was 2858. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were next with 2607 and 1720 Farmers’ suicides reported in 2006.

Farmers’ suicides in Chhattisgarh

2001 : 1452

2002 : 1238

2003 : 1066

2004 : 1395

2005 : 1412

2006 : 1483

Source- National Crime Records Bureau of the Central Home Ministry

The stories are always quite similar like the story of Netram Yadav. Netram was educated till class 4 and had 3 acres (1.2 ha) and used to take more land for farming on lease every year. His wife can’t think of any other reason why he committed suicide. “He was worried about the loan of Rs 15,000 he had taken from the moneylender. There is an interest of Rs 5 per month on every Rs 100 and he was worried how he would repay it. He was a good farmer. He had no fight in the family. His widow is left with three children to bring up. Two of them go to school and the youngest is a toddler.

What’s more surprising is the loan amount. Majority of the farmers have loans from 10,000/- (USD $200) to 30,000/- (USD $600) and then some figure goes up to 1,00,000/- (USD $2000). A meagre amount that people in cities usually spend on weekend parties.  What’s sad about this situation is that nobody is acknowledging this. Local Agricultural officers deny any reports of farmer suicide. CM is denying the issue  so is the opposition party probably because they can cheat these innocent people easily to get the votes then why bother and here is what they say righteously, “We also visit the villages. We do not see any farmer committing suicide. So how can we include the issue in the manifesto?”

It’s heart breaking that when a movie star catches cold the news comes in the front page but just to get noticed by the people thousands of farmer have to die. Even then the govt. does not care may be because no rich farmer is committing suicide. Who cares about the poor farmers anyway !


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