Vidarbha, Dec 1: Bidding adieu to his financial woes, yet another farmer from Vidarbha committed suicide on Friday. Kashiram Indore, a 76-year-old farmer performed his own last rites by building a pyre in the middle of his fields before climbing on top of it and setting it ablaze, said a NDTV report.
He is the 42nd farmer in the region to commit suicide in the last 50 days due to drought, crop failure and unpaid loans. Unable to repay loans, several farmers in the region have committed suicide.
According to the report, Kashiram, a resident of Manarkhed village in Akola district, was anguished after he failed to produce required amount of soyabean in his one-acre farm as his crops, soyabean and tuar, got infested with pests. He produced only one-and-a half quintals of soyabean this year against the 10 quintals that it could have, according to Kashiram's son, said the report.
Witnesses said that he built the pyre in the middle of the tuar crop and set himself afire. Although people rushed to save him, it was too late, said the report.
Bad state of agriculture in Vidarbha
which lies on the eastern side of Maharashtra, sprawls over an area of 97,321 km sq. This year, the monsoon arrived late and it was scanty. Therefore, Vidarbha and the Maharashtra government declared over 7,000 villages in the region drought-hit.
The region has inadequate irrigation system and according to local farmers, it is very difficult to sustain during dry season as there is no more moisture in the soil to draw from.
However, Kashiramdid not take his life for he was in debt. According to his son, he had not borrowed a single penny from others. The son said that his father's suicide was caused by depression. Due to the repeated failure of crops, Kashiram was under depression. He allegedly feared that he might fall into the trap of debt.
Over the last decade, more than 10,000 farmers have committed suicide in Vidarbha. Sadly, government is doing more or less nothing about it.
Althouigh the state has sought Rs 4,000 crore as drought relief from the Centre, it is yet to be processed.