11 Districts: Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gondia, Gadchiroli, Nagpur, Wardha, Washim, Yavatmal
BIGGEST THERMAL POWER STATION of the Nation: CSTPS – Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station.
GONDIA: Largest Rice Growing District, known as RICE CITY!
NAGPUR: better known as ORANGE CITY!
6 Districts Prone to Farmers’ Suicide: Amravati (President Pratibha Patil’s home district & she is not bothered at all); Akola; Buldhana; Wardha; Washim & Yavatmal!
When I started the ‘journey of destiny’ in March 2010, my dear friend Madan Patil’s farmer parents Shri & ShrimatiTukaram Raghoba Patil of Phopheri in Alibaug from the rich Konkan Region of Maharastra explained the ground problems of Indian farmers. The problems are in fact, global in nature and not just restricted to Vidarbha, Konakan belts or India at large... as I have been interacting with various leading activists from all across the globe and also friends from various countries, they all inform me about the problems of farmers listed below:
Dependent on Rain God & at the mercy of Nature (floods or drought situation)
No Proper Irrigation Infrastructure
Fertile Lands are being acquired in the name of Economic Growth
High Cost of Seeds, Fertilizers & Pesticides
High Labour Cost & Shortage of Farm Labourers
High Cost of Electricity & Diesel
Market Lobby & Govt Policies against Farmers’ Community
Output (Yield) is not equal to Inputs (Initial Investment)
No Source of Alternative Employment
Changing Lifestyle of Farmers Spoilt by MNCs & Financial Institutions
These problems are on the broader perspectives and there are multiple layers to each one of them along with other small-small problems that the selfless farmers’ community have been living since time immemorial. The six districts of Vidarbha (mentioned above) have seen a number of farmers succumbing to suicide due to various reasons. While everyone only talks about the number of farmers’ suicide in the region, I am really very sad to tell to the world that no one has really tried their level best or suggested remedies and solutions to save all those precious lives so far... instead the step motherly treatment being provided by various agencies of the society and the world are pushing the farmers to the edge, just like in France or Japan, where farmers’ community are heading towards extinction.
Given a choice, no one would dare to take their own lives because everyone loves to live. It is so easy and what has become mandatory for the journalists in Media to portray a farmers’ suicide as ‘the easy route’! Through this post, I wish to ask all those journalists to just cut a finger with a blade and show to the world how brave they are in reality! Why the real reasons of a farmer’s suicide is never highlighted to inform the whole world about why a poor man, who grows food for the nation while suffering poverty and miseries, has to give away his life and make his family suffer the rest of the life? Insensitivity of the modern day human beings have almost risen to the heights to such an extent that instead of finding solutions to the problems, the problems are further made more complicated so that it goes out of hand.
Like in Maths, every problem has a solution to solve, in life too, every problem can be solved if one is given or provided with a solution!
I am not shocked nowadays when I read in newspapers about how various irrigation projects have taken decades and are still incomplete because of nothing else but RED Tapism of the Government and of course, CORRUPTION in the Political System, Government Officials and everyone connected to the system... which never wants the farmers to be better off to serve the nation with their dedication, hard work and devotion to feed the nation!
As per a newspapers’ report today, the Union Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Praful Patel had recently held a meeting at his Ceejay House in Mumbai, where in the following officials were present and the reasons for incompletion of below mentioned Irrigation Projects in Two districts – Bhandara & Gondia are listed:
- Sunil Tatkare – Water Resources Minister
- Eknath Patel – Secretary
- Modak – Secretary
- Zhapke – Executive Director of Vidarbha Irrigation Corporations
- RM Chavan – Superintending Engineer
- HD Chande – Executive Engineer Medium Projects
- Wakotkar – Executive Engineer Gosikhurd Rehabilitation Department
- RM Joshi – Deputy Secretary Water Resources Department
- And other Top Officials concerned
INCOMPLETE MINOR IRRIGATION PROJECTS in GONDIA & BHANDARA Districts:
BHIMAKASA PROJECT: Still pending despite approval of Centre’s MoEF because of Rs. 10 crore (billion) NPV required for alternate forestation. Water Resources Minister Sunil Tatkare approved the amount.
SALEHETI PROJECT in Bhandara: Funds not yet released for completion of the project.
SONUKUND PROJECT in Bhandara: Funds not yet released.
BAWANTHADI IRRIGATION PROJECT: Rehabilitation of 3 Tribal Villages affected as per New Rehabilitation Act not yet done.
GOSIKHURD IRRIGATION PROJECT: Resurvey of PAPs on the lines of AMBHADI PROJECT.
SUREWADA PROJECT: Removal of hurdles of Forest Act is still pending.
KATANGI PROJECT: No Funds.
KALPATHRI PROJECT: No Funds.
OWARA PROJECT: No Funds.
BEWARTOLA PROJECT: No Funds.
UMARZHARI PROJECT: No Funds.
SALANGOLA PROJECT: No Funds for Canal work.
UPASIA PROJECT: Waiting for Approval.
BANDARCHUVA PROJECT: Delayed due to Forest Act.
SAATBAHINI PROJECT: Delayed due to Forest Act.
As many as 15 Irrigation Projects in just two districts of Vidarbha have been mentioned above. There are more for you all to see the callous and corrupt approach of the government: