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Vidarbha farmers' widows to protest on Women's Day

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Nagpur, Mar 7: Scores of Vidarbha farmer widows will go on a day-long hunger strike on Saturday on the occasion of International Women's Day to protest the growing apathy of government and lawmakers towards the agrarian crisis while demanding restoration of their 'right to live' with dignity.

The western part of Vidarbha region has been reeling under farmer suicides since 2005, farmers advocacy group, Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJS) which is organising the protest, said here today.

This 'Protest Day' is to draw attention towards demand for basic facilities like food and health security besides educational assistance to their wards, Samiti President Kishore Tiwari said in a release here today.

More than 5 mn families are under the grip of severe agrarian crisis in Vidarbha

Even various expert committees had factored all these in their recommendations in 2008, but the government has become apathetic, he said.

Farmer widows from across Vidarbha, mostly from suicide- prone Yavatmal district, who have been facing many hardships and fighting a long battle to live with dignity for long, will be joining the protest tomorrow.

Some of the prominent protesting widows include Aparna Malikar who appeared in KBC, Bharati Pawar, Nanda Bhandare, Bebitai Bais, Shahsikala Gatakawar, Gita Rathode, Archna Raut, Mangala Betwar, Poornima Kopulwar, Swaraswatibai Amabarwar, Anjubai Bhusari, Uma Jiddewar, Pushpa Pradhan and Rama Thamake among others, Tiwari said.

The Government has failed to give family pension, food security and land rights to more than 11,000 farm widows in the region forcing them to live in indignant conditions.

Their legitimate demands have not being considered even after continuous protests, he added.

More than five million farm families are under the grip of severe agrarian crisis in Vidarbha and have lost their crop cultivation this year due to massive untimely rains and flood.


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