India is an agrarian country which we all know, that around 60% people of the country are dependent on agriculture. Who are farmers? They are the people who earn their livelihood by growing seeds and earn when the seed gives fruit. They are not in monthly wages like us. They are that part of our country who are totally getting neglected just because they are poor. Do they need to prove their existence by committing suicides? This is a shame for our country in many ways. Firstly, because it is not a new case that has come out recently and government is thinking how to solve it, this is a problem going on since the early 90’s. Secondly, this is not how a developing country looks like.
If we enter into statistics, according to the Economic Survey of 2015, the agriculture sector engages 49 percent of the workforce of the country but grows at 1.1 percent in 2014-15. This is a very low number and monsoon cannot be the sole reason for it. This should at least raise a worry in the government. Coming to the suicide cases of farmers , they are leading with 11.2% among all the suicidal cases in India. More than 3,000 suicides have been reported collectively from Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala in 2015. This is really shocking and is the most underrated topic in this country nowadays.
If anyone talks about the problems in India, they will take Poverty as the first name. This is a very familiar topic for all Indians basically, but what has been done for it for the last 69 years of independence. Yes, government has launched many relief programs like Agricultural debt waiver and debt relief scheme, 2008 and Kerala Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2012, but did it change anything? Poverty remains the most major cause for farmers suicide. The other reasons that has come up are monsoon failure, high debt burdens, genetically modified crops, government policies, public mental health, personal issues and family problems.
But what exactly is compelling them to commit suicide leaving their families in worse conditions. It is said that every planting season, the farmers are forced to buy seeds, increasing poverty and indebtedness, which leads to depression and suicide. The cause of indebtedness is that they are forced to buy good quality seeds which are costlier and then unable to payback due to drought or low irrigation etc leading to poor agricultural income and absence of alternative income opportunities. These some major issues that the government should strictly look into and should not be neglected as they are poor. To close the matter people claim that the rate of suicides have decreased, but the Supreme Court asks why are there a single at all.
A ray of hope has been given to the families by Nana Patekar , the veteran actor of Bollywood who is known for his simplicity and truthfulness, has come up and has decided to help the families of the deceased farmers, financially. He has been visiting the villages and has been talking to them to know mainly the root cause of the problem and how to eradicate that. Nana has visited 112 widows in Marathwada Beed and now he plans to interact with 700 more in Nagpur, Latur, Hingoli, Parbani, Nanded, Aurangabad, Usmanabad, Jalna, Bhusawal, Jalgaon, etc. He is also planning to discuss the situation with the government and sort the issue. “Farmers need money, not sympathy”, Nana says. This is a small noble thing that he has started and we hope it can be solved and suicidal cases will stop forever.
Every single citizen of this country has equal rights to live and flourish. As we are the largest democracy we should see it as an advantage not as a disadvantage. Let’s just hope that the government will realize and take some logical actions accordingly rather than just reporting about it.
What else could be done to eradicate the problem. Something to think about!
Author: Namrata Dutta
Loves to express my opinion about almost everything!