Laxman Dattatray Gund, 32, of Kurla village from Beed district, was distressed after his father Dattatray committed suicide on April 9, 2015, after taking a Rs 5.50 lakh loan. Dattatray had applied for a well from a scheme in which he was supposed to get Rs three lakh but he did not get a single rupee. It was the same with the crop loan. When he did not get any response from the government scheme, he committed suicide.
Volunteers of Shivar Sansad met him two months back and counselled Laxman and his elder brother Angad.
“I was also thinking of suicide due to the situation but Shivar Sansad members gave me all types of support and the thoughts of suicide disappeared from my mind. Now we got the first instalment for the well and others follow-up is going on,” Laxman said.
Ashok Ramchandra Bombde, 35, from Dongarsoni village in Tasgaon tehsil of Sangli district, committed suicide ten years back. His elder daughter Sonali is in standard X and the younger one is in standard V. Their mother works as farm labourer and earns Rs 100-200 a day.
“We have taken the responsibility of educating these two girls. We are sponsoring a machine for the family so they need not depend on anyone for their livelihood,” said Vinayak.
Dattatray Narayan Sutar, 40, of Kurla village in Beed district committed suicide last year because he could not pay a dowry of Rs 2.5 lakh. Dattatray’s son paid the dowry by borrowing money for his sister’s marriage. He quit studies and started a tea stall to repay the borrowed money. Now Shivar Sansad has told him to continue his education and he has enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts course.
The National Crime Records Bureau of India in its 2012 annual report, reported that 13,755 farmers committed suicide in India. Drought and continuous crop failure have forced many farmers to end their life. Unavailability of sustainable work and mounting debts are the main reasons to commit suicides.
The life of a farmer is very tough. With no other revenue source, he has to totally depend upon the year’s crop. And if it happens to fail, an entire year is lost.
The team went door to door to analyse their condition and based on their needs provided them with financial support.
We provided assistance of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 to purchase seeds, fertilizers etc., so the families could continue with farming and the widows didn’t have to beg or take help from moneylenders.
We supports and educates affected farmers family to create second income source.——————————————————-
Each year, several cases of suicides by farmers are reported from drought-affected regions in Maharasthra. Vidarbha and Marathwada regions here are the worst-affected but there is a silver lining in the blazing sky here as several youngsters have left cushy jobs and have begun initiatives to help prevent farmer suicides.
Close to 3000 youngsters have quit their jobs and are volunteering in the region to ensure that instances of suicides from farmers disappear. Vinayak Hegana, a youth from Kolhapur, is just one of the many who have taken up initiative to give farmers confidence to tackle situations of agrarian crisis. He organises personal counseling sessions with them to boost their morale – especially during times of failed crop output. Hailing from a farming family, Hegana studied agriculture in a Kolhapur college and says repeated farmer suicides compelled him to work for their cause. “We have to do something for the farmers,” he says. “After visiting drought affected areas two years back, I decided to make a team for this mission. A team of about 3000 youngsters was created through social media and with the help of some NGOs.”
Hegana says that they appeal to farmers not to resort to the drastic measure by assuring them of finding a solution to their problems.
At least 3,146 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra in 2013, the latest data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show. That brings the total number of farmers taking their own lives in the Western Indian state to 60,750 since 1995. Maharashtra’s record finds no mention in the media. The picture in the state got a lot worse after 2004. On average, 3,685 farmers in the state took their lives every year between 2004-13.
Farmers’ suicides in the state of Maharashtra 1995-2013
Year Maharashtra farm suicides
Total 1995-2003 23,902
Total 2004-2013 36,848
Total 1995-2013 60,750