Many farmers say they are struggling for survival and are in no mood to celebrate anything

When there is no water and no power to save the crops, what is the funda in indulgence and celebration? Ill-timed as they are, the much-touted farmers’ festivals are just a waste of tax payers’ money, farmers in Karur feel. The festivals that kicked off on April 14 are to go on till May 13 in the district.

Anguished that they are not in a position to save any of their standing crops — be it paddy, sugarcane, banana or betel vine, because of drought and shortage of power, farmers in Karur district are not exactly warming up to the idea of festivals conducted by the officials across the district. “Festivals mean celebration and mirth all around.

But do you find us in any such sort? Struggling as we are in saving our standing crops, with no water or rain or power to water the withering crops, we are more interested in officials understanding our dilemma and troubles rather than inviting us for the cheap melas,” says a farmer S. Ponna Gounder of Pappayambadi village in Kadavur taluk of Karur district.

Drought has wrought havoc on banana crop in the region and whatever was left to stand was flattened by the gale that ravaged the fields a fortnight ago. “Officials knew that our region was very much affected but the high-level ministerial team that toured the district skipped our village as it did not fall in their route. But we are told that farmers’ festivals are being conducted with much fan fare. We fail to understand the point completely,” wryly smiles S. Thiyagarajan of Thimmampatti.

“The festivals are mere waste of tax payers’ money. The timing of the festival, coinciding with Tamil New Year, is bad and could have been shifted to June or July. Absolutely, the festivals are of no benefit to farmers. Moreover, when we farmers are feeding the world where is the need to offer food and meals at the festival,” says Nachalur K. Anbalagan, president, Sugarcane Growers’ Welfare Association.

The participation of farmers has been poor in the festivals and even those who attend are not showing any enthusiasm.

It is said that around Rs. 20,000 is being spent on conducting the festival in one panchayat. That amount could be spent on a better note, farmers feel.

  • ‘We don’t need melas, we need help in the wake of drought’

  • The response of the farmers is said to be poor to the festivals