Friday, April 17, 2009

How can we sit back and do nothing when 1500 farmers commit mass suicide ?

I read ths yesterday and was immobilized.  Kept me thinking “how can we allow something like this to happen and call our selves human”  And is the life of a family not even work 400 Pounds?

Social responsibility is/should not be just the domain of governments, but in so many ways is the duty of its citizens as well. This whole incident has left me numb to an extent that something like this can happen, and we – i.e. people like you and me are not even aware of it, and most likely feel helpless. I wonder what is the way out, how can we claim to be human and not take some action on something like this.

This has left me totally at a loss of words – but this kind of crisis is also fertile ground for seeds of transformation to be planted. The question is what kind of seeds do we plant both in the place of tragedy and in our own consiousness. I would be curious to hear what you may have to sayHow

1,500 farmers commit mass suicide in India – Asia, World – The Independent

1,500 farmers commit mass suicide in India

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Over 1,500 farmers in an Indian state committed suicide after being driven to debt by crop failure, it was reported today.

The agricultural state of Chattisgarh was hit by falling water levels.

“The water level has gone down below 250 feet here. It used to be at 40 feet a few years ago,” Shatrughan Sahu, a villager in one of the districts, told Down To Earth magazine

“Most of the farmers here are indebted and only God can save the ones who do not have a bore well.”

Mr Sahu lives in a district that recorded 206 farmer suicides last year. Police records for the district add that many deaths occur due to debt and economic distress.

In another village nearby, Beturam Sahu, who owned two acres of land was among those who committed suicide. His crop is yet to be harvested, but his son Lakhnu left to take up a job as a manual labourer.

His family must repay a debt of £400 and the crop this year is poor.

“The crop is so bad this year that we will not even be able to save any seeds,” said Lakhnu’s friend Santosh. “There were no rains at all.”

“That’s why Lakhnu left even before harvesting the crop. There is nothing left to harvest in his land this time. He is worried how he will repay these loans.”

Bharatendu Prakash, from the Organic Farming Association of India, told the Press Association: “Farmers’ suicides are increasing due to a vicious circle created by money lenders. They lure farmers to take money but when the crops fail, they are left with no option other than death.”

Mr Prakash added that the government ought to take up the cause of the poor farmers just as they fight for a strong economy.

“Development should be for all. The government blames us for being against development. Forest area is depleting and dams are constructed without proper planning.

All this contributes to dipping water levels. Farmers should be taken into consideration when planning policies,” he said.

This article is from The Belfast Telegraph

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