Does PM’s attention cost 21 lives?

From Arpi’s syaahi………. (Post 2)
Date: 16th August, 2009

There had been 21 suicides in Andhra Pradesh. I, being a casual reader of newspaper, have often overlooked such news but today, I couldn’t. Few days ago, one of my friends asked some of the questions from his talk show. One of them was: You are a person from metropolitan. Can you connect yourself with the poor farmers of Andhra Pradesh who had committed suicide? I thought for a while, it was very mean and heartless to say no but I really couldn’t feel the pang. Finally, I tried to give a diplomatic answer, “ Well, the effect of drought can be seen on the aate daal ka bhaav . It affects every household. Although, we are on the other side of the world but we are also on the other side of the supply chain. So, we are affected.” Thank God, he changed the question.


Now, this is unbelievable. I belong to a farmer family. My grandfather is a farmer. Every year, when I visit my village back in Orissa, I watch my ba (I call my grandpa ba) wake up at 5, clean the cow shed and set for the fields (though we are not left with much). However, the thing is, belonging to a village with 35 small and big iron and steel plants, part of a developing colony Kalinganagr, a village with 24X7 electricity, airtel and reliance towers and Tata Sky cable connection in televisions; I can’t imagine farmers suiciding here. Most of the farming activities have ceased as industries are setting up. My chachu is a contractor and is doing well in his business. We also faced drought and scarcity of water in past but we were luckier, no one ever died or committed suicide.


Sorry, I just got deviated but wanted you to know that there are prosperous villages in India too. Coming back to the topic of 21 suicides, the first line in the Times of India article is……Its official. So, what’s non official? Lives come so cheap in India. I remember the book, The Holy Cow in which author Sarah McDonald mentions an earthquake toll as quoted by some newspapers…. only 110 deaths, a small casualty. But, there’s no prevention, no cure. Government is only trying to apply a balm on the dead. 21 farmers had to lose their lives to get 1.5 lakh rupees as compensation and relief on loans. Is this a price a man should pay for his family to afford two meals a day? I think, there should be something more than relief and compensation. May be, employment generation but, it would lead the farmers to move away from the farming activities that is so uncertain and risky nowadays. I guess, there must be some temporary methods to earn money while one is out of work though this idea is pretty vague. What’s your say?

Arpita

8 Comments:

Shivi said...

small scale industries and craft cluster development can be another alternative,which can be carried out alongwith farming activities.

Alok. said...

One other option is to encourage the farmers to go for cash crops, like sugarcane, cotton, coffee, tea, lemon grass, pulses etc. (which of course depends on the soil and climate type.) On one hand, there's more money in it, and on the other, it also gives them the option to get associated with some small scale industries.

Watchin farmers committing suicide is a very sad sight. On this Independence day, I went through a news article tht described how 5 people in bihar died due to starvation.

And tht was our 62nd Independence day...

Pravy said...

Agreed about the idea of shifting the Indian farmer from agriculture to other sectors of economy...small scale industries if properly encouraged to flourish, nothing like that ....

A relevant thought that comes into mind when a farmer tries to shift from agriculture industry(or rather ,he is forced to ,after he mortgages his land),in absence of small scale industries,he ends up as a daily wage worker..
Earns 10 bucks daily,spends 5 of those into local alcohol leaving his family starved..


you can see the whole plot is created where social evils just erupt in abundance..

Population control measures are also suggested parallely..as the suicide ends up with not only finishing the farmer,but makes it sure that the rest of his family starves to death..

Tanmoy Hazra said...

Lalooji has a b8r solution. He has advised all Indians to eat less. Wat do u think of dat?

arpi......d confusd one :) said...

If Lalooji has a proper plan of collecting those extra plates of rice and dal etc. and take them to the people not able to manage a two course meal, very well then.... even i would also like to request everyone to do so...

Tanmoy Hazra said...

do u think dat is ever possible? wat shud we do? put d extra food into a plastic bag n place in a 'deposit extra food here' box on d road. n at every mealtym a person comes n takes all d extra food n distributes it among d poor. gud idea. ha ha ha!!!!!

Alec. said...

Khaaenge kam par bachche paida karenge 9-9... height of hypocrisy...

Shivi said...

@ Tanmoy

thats a nice idea. log khana aise hi phenk dete hain, agar aisa kuch kiya ja sake to kitna accha hoga.