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Meet ‘Vinayak Hegana’, Founder of Shivar Foundation, Reg. no : F-36779 / Kolhapur, 21-year-old youth from Kolhapur, completed BSc Agriculture is counselling and helping out distressed farmers and families of farmers who committed suicide in Marathwada and Vidarbha.

He hails from Arjunwad village in Shirol tehsil of Kolhapur district. “The lack of proper links between farmers and government, society, and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) is leading to farmers’ suicides in the state. We are nothing but this missing link, providing co-ordination and communication with the aim of preventing farmers’ suicides,’’ said Vinayak.

Farmers’ suicides have been a national issue, which politicians, an apathetic government and a self-absorbed society has been unable to curb or prevent. But a 21-year-old youth from Kolhapur and his team of like-minded individuals have decided to put their compassion into constructive action. Not content to be just bystanders, the youngsters have devised sustainable solutions for the distressed farmers, and within the span of one and half years, they have set up a network of 3000 youths across Maharashtra, with the objective of preventing farmers’ suicides, under a mission called Shivar Sansad.

Vinayak connected with 3000 youths from drought-affected areas through personal visits, college visits, social media, and brought them together under the mission, whose motto is ‘One day for the farmers can save their lives.’ Forming 150 groups of 20 members each, these youths visited 306 villages, talukas and districts, which recorded most of the farmers’ suicides, including Beed, Jalna and Usmanabad of Marathwada, and counselled individual members of the families.

“We are trying to help them in sustainable ways, anticipating their future needs. It is not just economic help, but they also need moral support, counselling and guidance, which are essential for the family members, in whose homes suicides have happened. Bridging the gaps, we communicate with them and after assessing their problems with the help of a questionnaire, we take it to the concerned authority of government or NGO, and take constant follow-ups until the problems are solved,” said Vinayak. They are now working in Sangli district and are planning to visit Vardha, Aurangabad, Kolhapur and Pune districts, and they pay for the travelling and living expense from their own pockets.

Members of Shivar Sansad have prevented several farmers’ suicides, and have enabled them to get long-term crop loans, and sprinkler loans from banks and agriculture department, by writing letters to concerned authorities. They have identified 25 NGOs who offer them health, educational and financial support. They have rehabilitated several farmers’ children in Beed based Shantivan project, an NGO which provides shelter and school education free of cost to needy children.

Two years ago, Vinayak decided to help the distressed farmers and he read a lot and released a short film called ‘Awakal’, which highlights farmers’ issues. He came upon many solutions, which required economic support for execution, for which he approached sarpanch, gramsevak, collector and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, but all they did was advise him to concentrate on his career and future. But Vinayak never gave up and came up with the concept to create an emotional bonding with farmers, and communicating with them to erase thoughts of suicide from their minds.

Now Vinayak and his team want to expand the work across the state, and need financial support from society.
“We can help more farmers if we get some financial support from the generous donors of society,” said Vinayak. He is basically a farmer and his father is a retired clerk from the agriculture department. His brother Vivek is has completed civil engineering and is preparing for civil services exams, while mother Jayashree is a housewife. His family full supports his work.

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नमस्कार!

मी चि. विनायक चंद्रकांत हेगाणा कृषी महाविद्यालय कोल्हापूर येथून  माझे शिक्षण पूर्ण केले केले आहे  मी शेतकऱ्यांच्या जीवनावर ‘अवकळ’ नावाचा लघुपट केला आहे. या लघुपटाची कथा मी स्वतः लिहिली आहे. दिग्दर्शन व चित्रीकरण चैतन्य डोंगरे याने केले आहे. या लघुपतामधून अलीकडेच झालेली नैसर्गिक आप्पती, अवकाळी गारपीट या शेतकऱ्यांच्या संकटावर भाष्य करणारी व शेतकऱ्यानेही काहीतरी घेण्यासारखी व शासनाला, समाजाला काहीतरी सांगू इच्छिणारी कथा मांडण्याचा आम्ही प्रयत्न केला आहे.

ही सर्व कथा वेगळ्या गोष्टीवर भाष्य करते तर,या कथेवर काम करताना मला एक सत्य परिस्थिती निदर्शनास आली ती, अशी मी एक कृषी विभागांमध्ये शिक्षण घेणारा विद्यार्थी आहे त्यावेळी मी त्यावेळी मी माझ्या एका शिक्षकांना भेटलो त्यावेळी सरांच्या बोलण्यात आले कि ‘आपण फक्त तांत्रिक बाबीवर शेतकऱ्यांसाठी काम करतो’ तर मला प्रश्न पडला असं का? त्यानंतर माझ्याकडून संशोधन झाल ते अस की, एका उदाहरणादाखल सांगेन,”जर माझा अपघात झाला आणि हाताला इजा झाली तर मी पटकन दवाखान्यामध्ये जात नाही.” तर आधी प्रथोमोपचार घेतो मग दवाखान्यामध्ये जातो त्याप्रमाणे शेतकऱ्यांच्या बाबतीत ही गोष्ट लागू होते जर शेतकऱ्यांवर नैसर्गिक संकट आलं “तर कर्जमाफी होईल,नुकसान भरपाई मिळेल,बजेटमध्ये समाविष्ट केला जाईल” अशा गोष्टी होतात.पण अगदी त्यांच्या दुसऱ्या दिवशी शेतकऱ्यांसाठी काय केलं जात? तर काहीच नाही.माझं असं म्हणन नाही कि,वरील सर्व गोष्टी आश्वासने आहेत पण आता शेतकर्यांना लवकरात लवकर मदतीची गरज आहे, त्याला मानसिक पाठबळाची गरज आहे जेणेकरून शेतकर्यांना कोणीतरी समजावून घेणारे भेटेल आणि यामुळे शेतकऱ्यांच्या दिवसेंदिवस वाढणाऱ्या आत्महत्या कमी होतील.

ध्येय :

  • शेतकऱ्यांच्या आत्महत्या पूर्णपणे रोखण्यासाठी . युवकांना एकत्र आणणे व प्रत्येक जिल्ह्यापासून ,तालुक्यापासून ,गावापर्यंत एक चळवळ उभी करुन शेतकऱ्यांच्या प्रश्नांना वाचा फोडणे .
  • नैसर्गिक आपत्ती नंतर तत्काळ मदत आर्थिक, मानसिक स्वरुपाची मदत देणे .
  • शेतकर्यांपासून ते कुटुंबापासून ते समाजापर्यंत कश्याप्रकारे या मध्ये उपाय योजना करू शकतो .
  • शेतकरी आणि शासनामधील दुवा बनण्याचे काम .
  • शेतकऱ्यांच्या मुलांना जागृत करणे .
  • शेतकऱ्यांना स्वावलंबी बनवणे