Farmers are a valuable asset for India. Farmers are those who even before the British rule has only added to the prestige of greenery to the Indian land. And farmers are the only person who grow grains for others but are unable to have even a single meal.
They are living a very scrabbling life which no one wanted to live. And the only way they think to end this famished life is SUICIDE. As of 2017, farmer suicides have occurred in large numbers in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand.
Is this a solution?
During the British rule, farmers were tortured even now despite of having schemes in favour of farmers and their profession, the number of farmers’ suicide is increasing every year. The National Crime Records Bureau, an office of the Ministry of Home Affairs Government of India, has been collecting and publishing suicide statistics for India since the 1950s, as annual Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India reports.
It started separately collecting and publishing farmers’ suicide statistics from 1995. Studies dated 2004 through 2006, identified several causes for farmers suicide, such as insufficient or risky credit systems, the difficulty of farming semi-arid regions, poor agricultural income, absence of alternative income opportunities, a downturn in the urban economy which forced non-farmers into farming, and the absence of suitable counselling services.
A 2012 study did a regional survey on farmers’ suicide in rural Vidarbha (Maharashtra) and applied a Smith’s Saliency method to qualitatively rank the expressed causes among farming families who had lost someone to suicide.
The expressed reasons in order of importance behind farmer suicides were – debt, alcohol addiction, environment, low produce prices, stress and family responsibilities, apathy, poor irrigation, increased cost of cultivation, private money lenders, use of chemical fertilizers and crop failure.
A study conducted in 2014, found that there are three specific characteristics associated with high-risk farmers: “those who grow cash crops such as coffee and cotton; those with ‘marginal’ farms of less than one hectare; and those with debts of 300 Rupees or more.”
From these reports, it is clearly visible that the main reasons why farmers commit suicide are financial security on damage of their crops due to drought, flood etc., inability in repayment of debts, lack of knowledge related to modern technology in crop production, use of pesticides and fertilizers and proper irrigation techniques, exploitation by middlemen and agents and chronic illness.
In 2014, the National Crime Records Bureau of India reported 5,650 farmer suicides. The highest number of farmer suicides were recorded in 2004 when 18,241 farmers committed suicide. The farmers’ suicide rate in India has ranged between 1.4 and 1.8 per 100,000 total population, over a 10-year period through 2005.
After knowing all the facts, can we say that India is a developing country? The peasants who grow grains for others, for the country are being neglected by the country. Why they are needed to protest for their rights? Why they are forced to eat rats and drink their own urine to make the government listen to their plead?
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Why cannot we listen to their requests in one go? Because in this huge country, we think there are other big problems to deal with rather than to deal with such an issue. Farmers who the whole year laboriously toil themselves so that we don’t sleep in night with an empty stomach are actually spending days without feeding themselves.
It would be difficult to believe that in our country we have left this section too behind in the process of development. They are the actual base of our country. There are schemes for them like loan waiver scheme to forgive all their pending debts, agricultural policies to educate them and many more. But is this enough?
“In winter’s chill or summer’s heat… A farmer works so the world can eat!”
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