The story takes you into the ‘Farmer Suicide Belt’ of Vidarbha from Maharashtra. A farmer from a small village from Vidarbha starts his day with prayers that it may rain as he cannot afford irrigation in his farm. He is tensed by the pressure of repayment of loans. In his village, half of the farmers have committed suicide and he too thinks that it’s the better option. His living counterparts too have been talking about the option of committing suicide as after their death; their family gets some amount of money by the State Government. He does all he can do. His wife helps him in ploughing and has been a firm support in his entire life. The farmer in his childhood never entered the gates of school as his parent’s couldn’t afford it, but he assured that her daughter went to school. In these days, a group of college students from an urban place visited the village for their yearly educational visit and to study village life. They saw the conditions of farmers and the floating news that half of the farmers have been committed suicides. While they were having some rest under a tree one of the student addresses to the rest of his classmates regarding this, “Farmers live a simple life with no worries like paying Income Tax, Corporation Tax, etc, and still we find farmer suicides at a high rate even when the government waives loan to them. Farming if done properly can give huge profits, still farmers cry over losses in their farms? Aren’t farmers carrying a low will power that they cannot fight challenges of life?” All of the students listening agreed to him.
While this conversation was going around, the farmer’s daughter who just completed her matriculation was listening to the student’s address to his classmates. After he finished, the girl came in front of the students and said, "It’s easy to stand at the boundary of farming lands and comment on farmers, but in reality folks from the city have forgotten the importance of agriculture and farmers. Lal Bahudar Shastri had coined the term, ‘JAI JAWAN, JAI KISAN.’ That time the then Prime Minister knew the importance of the country’s army men and the farmers. The defense personnel got their importance and respect and at least the situation in which their families are not suffering. But, farmers who are back-bone of the nation and SILENT MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS never got that respect. You talk about loan waiver schemes, but in reality not a single penny reaches the farmers. You say that farming is a profitable business, but the Indian farmer receives just 10 to 23 percent of the price the Indian consumer pays for exactly the same produce, the difference going to losses, inefficiencies and middlemen traders. They suffer a huge loss when during floods, or in drought conditions. They cannot afford irrigation and the local village canal gets water just once in a day. 23 out of 55 billionaires in India are from Maharashtra, still my state Maharashtra ranks number 1 in number of farmer suicides. 147 farmers are committing suicide each day and 1600 farmers attempting suicide every three days. There must be a reason for all this. No one likes to leave his family in sufferings. My father is practicing farming from his childhood and still continues to do that even after all the losses he’s suffering from. 4000 farmers leave farming each day, I’m proud that at least my father doesn’t plan to quit from farming and is contributing in satisfying the nutritional requirements of the people of India." When the girl finished her words, she was greeted with applause's from the students, but the girl popped into cheerfulness when she saw his father behind her standing with hands folded and smiling, seeming proud of his daughter. The farmer dropped the idea of suicide and decided to fight against all odds and continue with farming. There are innumerable stories like this of the Indian Farmers. What they need from us is just respect for what they are doing. And you can contribute little by visiting the villages and knowing the exact realities. Salute to the SIMPLE but IMPORTANT Indian Farmer. JAI KISAN!
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