Meena Menon

282 farmers have taken their own lives since January

MUMBAI: Yet another debt-ridden Vidarbha farmer immolated himself, leaping into a pile of burning hay last Friday, according to Kishore Tiwari of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS).

Baban Jughale of Buldana had taken a loan of Rs. 1.75 lakh to cultivate 10 hectares of land, but he could not repay.

Suicide by farmers continues in the region despite the Prime Minister’s Rs. 3,750-crore package and the Rs. 60,000-crore loan waiver announced in the Union budget.

Mr. Tiwari said 116 farmers had committed suicide ever since the waiver was announced. On Sunday seven farm suicides were reported from Yavatmal, Chandrapur, Washim Amravati and Bhandara in the region, adding to the 15 reported in the four days before that. Over 282 farmers have reportedly committed suicide in Vidarbha since January 2008.

The VJAS had requested Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to visit farmers on Monday instead of attending the function in Nagpur to inaugurate the terminal at the new airport.

The VJAS has demanded better prices for cotton, fresh credit to farmers, food crop promotion and social security.

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