During my recent visit in some of the villages in Vidarbha, the interaction I had had with few small farmers (who have less than 3 acres of cultivated land) indicated that they are frustrated with the system and their own lives, as nothing seems to provide any succour to them. No wonder, one farmer named Sudhakar Rao says with total frustration – “Government should take all our land and feed us for life along with taking care of all our needs for life… only then, the suicide in the region will stop!” I wondered if this was the only solution left for the nation to pay attention to the farmers’ suicides in the region and the nation…
There are many farmers who have been part of their village gram panchayat since decades, who confessed in unison – “None of the political parties have really worked for the welfare of the farmers in the region and the nation since Independence… they all come once in five years with folded hands to ask for our votes and then vanish till the next election. These are the same political parties, who divide the villagers in different faction, so they can win election. Once they win, they don’t even bother to visit us, forget about doing anything for the betterment of our community.”
Small farmers in Vidarbha are facing problems to sustain themselves and some how surviving from committing suicide. The shortage of farm labours during the seasons and the ever demanding escalating labour wages have not only increased their initial investment but also these factors have affected badly to cut a huge chunk from their yearly income. “There are no options as labours are mandatory during the sowing and harvesting seasons. The ever increasing rates of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides are also killing us. There is absolutley no respite for us…tell us how will we surivive with no extra income or work post season… farming has become a burden rather than a lucrative profession. Yes, if there had been proper irrigation infrastructure and system in the region, then no farmer would have dared to commit suicide. 8 out of the 12 months in a year, our land gives us nothing excpet worries,” states Sudhakar Rao.
He further says, “The policies of government to waive the loan of the farmers have been the greatest mistake as those who benefitted were big farmers and not the majority of us, the small farmers. The subsidies food grains is another flaw in the system as the government wants us to remain poor life long… why this inequality when under the consititution of our nation, every Indian has equal rights to be an Indian! The government has divided class to benefit the rich and exploit the poor. All these policies should stop with immediate effect. If at all, the government is serious for our welfare, they should take away all our lands and take care of our families’ need, give proper employment to our sons and daughters… but the irony is that farmers of the nation who feed the nation are forced to commit suicide or else leave farming.”
Even God has been impartial to the farmers, who are fighting a long lost battle of survival in Vidarbha. Every single policy is against the farmers while benefitting the corporate giants, who are sucking whatever blood is left in the poor farmers. Greed, corruption and exploitation seem to be unending for these corporate companies, who wants to control the food industry with their poisonous intention and fertilizers and pesticides. I wonder, why our nation’s government are supporting these corporate giants (Monsato) to kill our poor farmers while feeding the nation with poisonous food products. When will we wake up? When will one good politician come in front to stop all these malpractices, save our nation’s farmers, stop supporting the greedy corporate giants and provide succour to the selfless community who are feeding the nation while their own are dying of hunger and suicides???
Wish Lal Bahadur Shastri was alive in today’s time!!!