557 farmers ended lives in six months this year in Maharashtra's Amravati: Govt report

Crop losses, lack of rainfall, debt burden and absence of timely farm loan are some of the major reasons that drive farmers towards taking the extreme step, Amravati MP Balwant Wankhade said

Updated - July 13, 2024 03:32 pm IST

Published - July 10, 2024 04:41 pm IST - Amravati

Over 170 farmers lost their lives to suicide in Amravati district. File

Over 170 farmers lost their lives to suicide in Amravati district. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

As many as 557 farmers have died by suicide in five districts under the Amravati administrative division of Maharashtra between January and June this year, an official report said. The five districts in the division are Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Washim and Yavatmal.

A report prepared by the Amravati divisional commissionerate said 557 farmers ended their lives in the division from January to June this year. The highest number of 170 suicides were recorded in Amravati district, followed by 150 in Yavatmal, 111 in Buldhana, 92 in Akola and 34 in Washim.

The Government has assisted families of the deceased in 53 cases, while 284 cases are pending for inquiry, the report said.

‘Serious issue’

Reacting to the figures mentioned in the report, Congress leader Balwant Wankhade, who represents the Amravati Lok Sabha seat, said Maharashtra is one of the States that records the highest number of farmer suicides and Amravati tops the State on this count.

“Crop losses, lack of adequate rainfall, existing debt burden and absence of timely farm loan are some of the major reasons that drive farmers towards taking the extreme step,” he said.. adding, “The government should fulfil its assurances of doubling the income of farmers and provide assistance to them.”

Nilesh Helonde-Patil, Chairperson of Maharashtra’s Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavlambi Mission, said the suicide of farmers was a serious issue and efforts were on to find a solution to stop such deaths.

"The local administration is reaching out to farmers at the gram panchayat level with various government schemes to help them increase their income, and also in the education of their children and the medical cost of the family members. The government is standing behind the them. The Shetkari Swavlambi Mission is also facilitating easy communication between farmers and insurance companies," he said.

"Suicide by farmers is a serious matter and the mission is working on finding solutions to curb such deaths," he added.

(Those in distress or having suicidal tendencies could seek help and counselling by calling the following numbers: BMC Mental Health Helpline: 022-24131212 (24x7); Vandrevala Foundation: 18602662345/18002333330 (24x7); I Call - 022-25521111 (Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.); ASRA - 022 2754 6669 (24x7); The Samaritans Mumbai: 8422984528/842984529/8422984530 ( 5 p.m. -8 p.m., all days). More helpline numbers across the country are available in this link)

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