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No Diwali for Vidarbha; 3 more farmers commit suicide
While people across India were enjoying their shopping spree on the eve of 'Dhanteras', two days ahead of Diwali, three more debt-ridden farmers in Vidarbha ended their lives, taking this year toll of suicides to 624, according to Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a farmers' advocacy group.

THE REPORTED failure of main cash crop Bt. Cotton in 4.2 million hectares, coupled with failure of soyabean on 1.8 million hectares due to erratic rain and pest attack for third year in a row, is believed to be the main reason behind the suicides.

The victims, according to VJAS, are Champat Shendre of village Junapani in Wardha, Vasant Rathode of village Kinhala in Yavatmal and Mangesh More of village Virud in Chandrapur.

“This year cultivation cost has almost doubled due to unusual rise in prices of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and labour rate where as market prices of cash crop like cotton and soybean is being traded much lower than last year prices and till date there is no intervention from the Govt. for procurement of these crop,” Kishore Tiwari, VJAS president, informed in a press release.

“There is no set up, forcing farmers to offload crops at throw away prices resulting in heavy financial losses while as per official report, there is massive crop failure in the dry land region of Vidarbha, particularly rain sensitive crops like Bt.cotton,” Tiwari added.

He further said that farmers need another bailout healing touch in the area of credit restoration, provisioning for next year cultivation and arrangement of food and health security to all debt trapped distressed families of Vidarbha.

“The main focus of all political parties and civil society has been shifted from very serious issue of rural India and farmer suicide and agenda of 2014 national election is also getting shifted from the core issue of India’s agrarian crisis, which has made rural economy venerable. That is only reason farmers are killing themselves while all pillars of Indian democracy are keeping silent, which is most unfortunate, so we want urgent intervention hence this appeal,” Tiwari urged.

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