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Three Vidarbha farmers commit suicide on Makar Sankranti
While people across the nation were celebrating the Makar Sankranti festival the villagers of Maregoan, Dorali and Manoli of Yavatmal district of Vidarbha, infamous as 'farm suicide capital of India', were busy in funeral rituals of Puroshottam Pursadkar of Maregoan, Ramrao Shende of Manoli and Sanjay Mohurele of village Dorli - the latest victims of farm suicide in the region.

The Yavatmal district has reported maximum farmer suicides during last six years in the ongoing agrarian crisis in the region. Despite the massive cotton crop failure in 42 lakh hectare area, Yavatmal and other cotton growing districts were not covered in the recent relief aid announced by the Central government. 

Moreover, the apathy of local administration fueled more hardships for three million cotton farmers of Vidarbha, Kishore Tiwari of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a farmers’ advocacy group informed in press release.

A resident of village Manoli, Ramu Shende, 37, killed himself in the morning whereas Sanjay Mahurle, a resident of Dorali reportedly consumed pesticide. He was rushed to Govt. Medical College Yavatmal where he was declared dead. A pall of gloom descended on all these villages as the news of the suicides spread.

“The recent announcement of Rs778 crore as aid for drought-hit farmers in Maharashtra from the National Disaster Response Fund didn’t mention the drought-induced crop loss faced by five million plus debt-trapped farmers of Vidarbha. This has left many shocked,” Tiwari said.

On an average, three farmers end their lives every 24 hours. The government figures show that more than 9,000 dry land farmers have killed themselves due to crop failure and economic losses due to cotton price.

“The government drive to push GM cotton in order to benefit one bio-tech MNC has only cruelly compounded the problems faced by farmers due to vagaries of climate since 2005 pushing many towards ending lives, lamented Tiwari.

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