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Five more farmers commit suicide, VJAS springs into action
Since the agrarian crisis hit Maharashtra, over 10,000 farmers have committed suicide compelling VJAS to question the concern of the state apart from giving bail outs.
AGRARIAN CRISIS once again led to five more fresh cases of farmer suicides on March 25. As per a release, which was issued by Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) in Nagpur, four farmers from Yavatmal and one from Chandrapur ended their lives due to the shortage of basic aids. The deceased have been identified as:

1.Suresh Rathode of Khed
2.Ganesh Deshmukha of Marsala
3.Devidas Pandhare of Kothuralak and
4.Madhav Parothi of Machindra
all from Yavatmal District and Subhash Mumngal of Awarpur in Chandrapur

In December 2010, Maharashtra Chief Minister announced a Rs 1000 crore ‘bail-out’ package to Maharashtra farmers who lost crops due to shortage of rainfall but there is no provision for the same in 2011-12 budget. Moreover, government's silence during this period of crisis has made the distressed farmers more hostile and added fuel in the despair, which is a serious concern.

VJAS President Kishore Tiwari said that due to lax in the state's finance department headed by Ajit Pawar, the state has ignored about 3 million debt ridden cotton farmers. At this rate, farmer suicides in the region has come to a total of 10,000 since the 2005 agrarian crisis.
As three million cotton farmers have lost cotton crop this year, it was expected that the state would address the on going agrarian crisis and will give a bailout package as the earlier relief packages were disappointing.

"However, the state has failed to give much awaited food security and health security to dying cotton farmers and over 10,000 farm widows and family members of farmers who committed suicide since 2005. This is much more disturbing," Tiwari added.

The Vidarbha farmers had welcomed the decision to give zero per cent crop loan up to Rs 50,000 and two per cent interest up to Rs 3 lakh but this facility can be availed by the farmers who are regular with banks. In order to extend this facility to debt trapped farmers facing crop failure since 2009-10 in Vidarbha, VJAS has been demanding a bailout package for those who are not covered by state-owned banks and are forced to take loans from local money-lenders and private MFIs.

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