Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vidarbha farm widows struggle will continue -Sunil Kuhikar




Vidarbha farm widows struggle will continue -Sunil Kuhikar

here is article written by senior editor of daily Tarun Bharat Nagpur after agrarian crisis icon kalavati was forced opt out of election race .the article is thrown light on the ground reality and pathetic condition of rural vidarbha .

please read this article .



VJAS is will make the bebitai bais election as mark of respect to more than 7000 farmers who committed suicides and will try our level best to focus on main demands of vidarbha farm widows which are
1. Food for the dying families

2. Family pension to all widows

3. Free higher education, and aid for marriage of their daughters.

4. Right of land owned by their husband. Deprived of this right, most widows are forced to leave their homes.


The reason why the VJAS was trying to field a candidate in the coming elections was because the issue is being ignored by the State administration, and hence getting into the election process would have provided an opportunity to draw attention to these critical issues.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kalawati withdraws, a setback for farm widows

Kalawati withdraws, a setback for farm widows



Farmer widow, Kalawati. She became famous after Rahul Gandhi visited her house, and made a special mention about her in one of his Parliamentary speech. She is better known as 'Rahul Gandhi's Kalawati'.

The widow of a farmer from Vidharba, Kalawati Bandurkar, 48, has finally decided not to contest the forthcoming Maharashtra Assembly polls. Although a lot of activists and civil society leaders have welcomed her decision, and feel that she should instead devote her energies to social work, I am a lot disappointed.

Kalawati had shot into prominance for whatever reasons we know of. The fact remains that she had become the face of hundreds of thousands of farm widows. Even if she wouldn't have succeeded in the electoral battle, she would have definitely mainstreamed the terrible agrarian issue. In today's democratic set up, it is very important to take the battle right into the political arena, and try to put it on the top of the political agenda.

I don't understand why the NGOs feel that politics is something that we must stay away from. I strongly feel that farmer suicide has to be politicised in a manner that the political system cannot escape responsibility. This may perhaps be the only way to ensure that the nation's focus is drawn towards the serial death dance that continues unabated. How many more farmers do we want to send to gallows before we expect any meaningful action? Aren't 200,000 farmer suicides in the past 15 years or so enough to seek immediate action?

On the contrary, I have always felt that the entire development discourse remains in the dumps because of our failure to politicise it. Most NGOs are happy in advocacy and capacity building exercises, which is their source of livelihood, and the farmer organisations are refraining to hammer the issue of farmer suicides more often than not for the simple reason that it would annoy the powers that be. Which means it would spoil their chances of getting a party ticket in the next elections. This is simply outrageous.

Not that Kalawati (even if she got elected) alone would have changed the entire situation. I am not saying that farmer suicides would have stopped after she got elected. I would have certainly expected another Kalawati to follow, and then another subsistence farmer to emerge on the political scene. Such a chain reaction can take place provided we all join hands, shun our ideologies, egos and differences, and work collectively towards building a new political scenario.

Anyway, I asked Kishor Tiwari, who heads the Vidharba Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), the organisation that fielded Kalawati, to send me a small write-up on why they did so. His note is pasted below, and I would like you to read carefully the demands they are raising.

This is what Kishor Tiwari writes:

On 5th September 2009 we called a meeting of Vidarbha farm widows mostly from Yavatmal district, and around 200 farm widows attended it. The meeting decided to demand:

1. Food for the dying families

2. Family pension to all widows

3. Free higher education, and aid for marriage of their daughters.

4. Right of land owned by their husband. Deprived of this right, most widows are forced to leave their homes.


The reason why the VJAS was trying to field a candidate in the coming elections was because the issue is being ignored by the State administration, and hence getting into the election process would have provided an opportunity to draw attention to these critical issues.

It was decided that as Kalawati Bandurkar is well-known, she was best suited for the task. After 8 days of making the choice known to her, Kalawati called me to inform that she is ready to contest provided her health permits.

It was only then that we announced her candidature, which was a breaking news. As Rahul Gandhi’s Kalawati, her name drew more than 200 journalists to interview her, hundreds of article and newsreports in media, and evoked concern in the political circles mainly in the Congress party, finally forcing her to change her decision.

Also, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak of Sulabh International wrote a letter to her asking her not to contest election. This was a major jolt to her as she is still awaiting to receive the entire Rs 30 lakhs that Pathak had promised to provide to her as aid (she has got Rs 6 lakh by now). Kalawati therefore announced the change in her thinking, and withdrew from the race.

Before that, Kalawati had come to Nagpur and clarified the stand that her contest is symbolic and the plight of farm widows and farm suicide issues should be taken up. She had announced that she would be filing her nomination on Sept 25.

This announcement brought more pressure on her. She withdrew later, after her own son-in-law threatened to commit suicide if she contested. VJAS therefore replaced her with Babitai Bais. I don't know why senior activists from some sections of the society are criticizing us for using these innocent widows to raise voice of farmers.


I also draw your attention to an elaborate interview of Kalawati published by the Times of India on Sept 27, 2009. This will help bring the issue to those who have not been able to follow the spate of developments involving Kalawati, and also help those who are outside India to put this blog in right perspective.

'Money is no longer a problem, being a celebrity is'
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/sunday-toi/all-that-matters/Money-is-no-longer-a-problem-being-a-celebrity-is/articleshow/5060907.cms

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kalavati nahin toh BeBitai sahi-Midday -Maha polls; Samiti replaces Kalavati with another farm widow

Kalavati nahin toh Bebitai sahi
By: Varun Singh
Date: 2009-09-26


Vidarbha Aghadi leaders, wary of Kalavati Bandurkar's wavering ways, get another candidate to file nomination for the Wani seat as a second option

Leaders of Vidarbha Aghadi, wary of the wavering ways of their party candidate Kalavati Bandurkar (48), have got yet another farmer widow, Devitai Bayas (45), to file her nomination as an Independent, as part of their Plan B, in case Kalavati ditches them.

Kalvati, to the relief of party leaders, finally filed her papers to contest from Wani, yesterday, though she had earlier said she would not contest.

Relatives say no

Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Aghadi said Kalavati was dithering because she feared that the aid promised to her by the government would be blocked if she contested the polls.

"We left the decision to her. However, her relatives are forcing her to backtrack from the electoral race," said Tiwari.

I'm in full form: Kalavati submits her nomination to contest for the Wani seat in Yavatmal yesterday.


On Thursday, Kalavati was admitted to a district hospital located in Bandhar Kawada village, after she complained of chest pain.

"I got her admitted, as she was ill. But she filed her nomination at noon yesterday. If she cannot campaign, we should have another candidate to campaign," said Tiwari.

Bayas lives in Hiwara Zari village, 45 kilometres from Kalavati's village.

Kalavati's blood samples have been sent for tests and the results are expected in a day or two.

Claim To Fame

Last year, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi mentioned Kalavati, a landless labourer, in Parliament to highlight the plight of debt-ridden farmers in Vidarbha.

She was offered a monetary fund of Rs 30 lakh.

Her debt-ridden husband had committed suicide in 2006, leaving nine children behind.

Rs 20,000
The amount Kalavati is required to pay the landlord whose fields she tills every year

9
The number of Kalavati's children. She has seven daughters and two sons

75
Percentage of Vidharba's contribution to cotton production in Maharashtra

----------------

  • Maha polls; Samiti replaces Kalavati with another farm widow

STAFF WRITER 13:20 HRS IST

Nagpur, Sept 26 (PTI) In the midst of flip-flops by farm widow Kalavati Bandurkar on contesting the Maharashtra Assembly polls, the NGO supporting her candidature today replaced her by another woman.

"Since Kalavati is not well and under tremendous pressure from many quarters for withdrawing from contest for the October 13 Assembly elections from Wani, Samiti has decided to replace her with Babytai," Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti President Kishore Tiwari told PTI.

"Kalavati will decide her own fate. She may contest if she can withstand pressure, but as far as Samiti is concerned its nominee to represent the farm widows is Babytai whose husband Chhatar Singh Bais ended his life in year 2007," he said.

Kalavati, who shot into limelight after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi mentioned her plight in Parliament, was yesterday hospitalised.

She, however, drove in an ambulance to Wani office of Assistant Returning Officer accompanied by Tiwari to file her papers yesterday.

=========================

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pest epidemic on Bt.cotton claims another Seven Farm Suicides in vidarbha in last two Days

Nagpur-17th September 2009.

On going uncontrolled attack of military worm ,white fly, aphids ,jessids, thriph ,mealy bug means all types of sucking pest along with deadly layla (reding of leaves) has claimed seven more farm suicides in vidarbha .

The innocent victims of massive use of pesticide and complete failure of genetically modified (GM) seed are-

1.Santosh Thete of village Mogra in Amravati

2.Balajimadavi of village Tembhi in Yavatmal

3.Gajanan Gawande of village Datala in Washim

4.Gajanan Lokhande of village Kinhiraja in Washim

5.Santosh Sidam of village Mangurda in Yavatmal

6.Vinayak Tijare of village Gurudeo Nagar in In Amaravati

7.Rajesh Guddalwar of Karanja in Washim

“In the mega advertisement of bt.cotton seed ,farmers are told that Cotton plants are having Drought tolerance and,the Genetically Engineered Bacillus Thuringenesis that cotton seed has capacity to produce antibiotic resistance to pest attack resulting in lower use of contact and non contact type pesticide and insecticide now days not only inbuilt toxin failed but there is response to all pesticide and insecticide”, informed Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti in press note .

Thus farm suicide figure since 2004 has now crossed 7000 mark in vidarbha where as yavatmal-1596, amaravati-1122,akola 1016,washim-816,buldhana-1077 and wardha-495 farmers committed suicides as per official record ,tiwari added.


Here are list of pesticides and insecticide failed to control this pest epidemic,cotton farmers have already spent more than Rs.2000 crore of these non-effective pesticides mostly are so toxic hence they are banned in EU and US .






Sr.no.

Company

Brand

Market name

Price per litre

1

Bayer

Fame

14000/-

2

Deu point india

Koragane

12000/-

3

Deu point

tracer

12000/

4

Bayer

spintor

12000/-

5

Deu point

avant

3500/-

6

Bayer

Super conpider

3200/-

7

Syngente India

Actra

3500/-

8

Nocil

pride

1800/- per kg

9

syngenta

polo

2600/- per kg

10

bayer

admire

5000/-

11

Nagarjuna

Dentop

12000/-

12

Bayer

Regent

1000/-

It’s worst epidemic of pest attack on cash crops of rain fed Vidarbha and Marathwada,the backward portion of progressive Maharashtra which are soybean and cotton ,initially military worm damaged all standing soybean crop now this sucking pest will certainly off set rural economic balance of the region creating more despair and distress among the debt trap dying farmers ,Tiwari added..

Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti(VJAS) has urged administration to provide immediate aid to assistance to these cotton farmers who are already disturbed due huge debt and economic crisis due on going agrarian crisis in the region . “this pest epidemic on standing cotton crop will spread distress and farm suicide spiral of West Vidarbha to in near by Marathwada,Khandesh,North Mahrashtra and East Vidarbha hence urgent attention is needed to save million of dying farmers of Maharashtra” Tiwari added

=========

=======

=======

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vidarbha Agrarian Crisis getting Worst: 3 cotton farmers died due excessive exposure to pesticide spraying along with eight farmers and farm worker

Vidarbha Agrarian Crisis getting Worst: threeTwo cotton farmers died due excessive exposure to pesticide spraying along with eight farmers and farm worker suicides in last three days

Nagpur-15th September 2009

The desperate attempt to save cotton crop from military worm ,white fly, aphids ,jessids, thriph ,mealy bug means all types of sucking pest along with deadly layla (reding of leaves) attack ,three innocent farmers reported dead in yavatmal district of vidarbha ,they are

1.Rama Madavi ,a tribal farmer from runza

2.Meghnand Narayan Jadhav of village zira and

3. Janardhan Warlu Lingual of vilaige shirpur

All three hailing from in yavatmal .

As per reports received that rama madavi who was struggling whith his life after getting ill due pesticide poisoning while spraying succumbed to toxic killer chemicals today earlier yesterday another banjara farmer meghnand jadhav who was doing sprayin indosulphon banned pesticide in the world, was fallen ill in the night and he was taken near by Runza PHC who refered him Govt. Medical College where declared dead similarly janardhan lingual of shirpur become unconscious while spaying pesticide and was taking near PHC in shirpur where in died with out treatments that is happening all the time in rural hospital in vidarbha , Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti in press note today.

Today three more innocent farmers suicides have been reported in vidarbha they are

1.Bhimrao Rathode of Villiage Pimpri in Yavatmal

2.Digamber Wankhede of Villiage Vidhud in Yavatmal

3.Waman Chabile of Village Takali in Yavatmal

As earlier VJAS reported a farm lady worker

4.Sundana Pandurang Barallawar of Village Mukutban in Yavatmal

Committed suicide on Sunday due to deep stress on not getting the farm work in the district yesterday in addition to the causality five more innocent farmers suicide in cotton belt of vidarbha

5.Sahebrao Deshmukh in Yawali Shahid of Amaravati

6.Devendra Kurhade in Arvi of Wardha .

7.Ramdas Choudhari in Bhedgaon of Chandrapur

8.Sharad Bhoyar in Rui-Wai of Yavatmal

9.Gajanan Dawas in Warud of Yavatmal.

“the pest epidemic is damaging the cotton crop and there is NREGA work in the vidarbha where as NRHM and PDS schemes is collapsed resulting farmers and farm workers suicides .Ministers and officers are too busy in election to look at these dying people of Maharashtra where as some of lower level officers are denying the basic relief in the name of moral code of conduct ,it’s much disturbing to see on going political drama in the mist of this gloom” tiwari said

‘On cotton crop now there is military worm attack in addition to white fly, aphids ,jessids, thriph ,mealy bug means all types of sucking pest along with deadly layla (reding of leaves) attack has come ,it means all over’ Prem chavan of village Maregaon(son) in kelapur –yavatmal informed .

“In the mega advertisement of bt.cotton seed ,farmers are told that Cotton plants are having Drought tolerance and,the Genetically Engineered Bacillus Thuringenesis that cotton seed has capacity to produce antibiotic resistance to pest attack resulting in lower use of contact and non contact type pesticide and insecticide now days not only inbuilt toxin failed but there is response to all pesticide and insecticide”,informed Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti in press note .

It’s worst epidemic of pest attack on cash crops of rain fed Vidarbha and Marathwada,the backward portion of progressive Maharashtra which are soybean and cotton ,initially military worm damaged all standing soybean crop now this sucking pest will certainly off set rural economic balance of the region creating more despair and distress among the debt trap dying farmers ,Tiwari added..

Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti(VJAS) has urged administration to provide immediate aid to assistance to these cotton farmers who are already disturbed due huge debt and economic crisis due on going agrarian crisis in the region . “this pest epidemic on standing cotton crop will spread distress and farm suicide spiral of West Vidarbha to in near by Marathwada,Khandesh,North Mahrashtra and East Vidarbha hence urgent attention is needed to save million of dying farmers of Maharashtra” Tiwari added

Friday, September 11, 2009

18% Vidarbha farmer suicides in 2009 genuine, says govt-Times Of India Pune


Printed from

18% Vidarbha farmer suicides in 2009 genuine, says govt

AMRAVATI: The spate of farmer suicides is continuing in Vidarbha region. Hundreds of farmers have ended their lives this year but few have proved to be eligible to be counted as genuine cases, resulting in their kin not getting compensation or other benefits from the government. Activists claimed that the officials are merely following the orders from the chief minister's office to keep farmer suicide numbers as low as possible.

Though the situation has improved after implementation of the packages, the numbers are still worrying. In year 2009, till July 31, around 466 farmers in six suicide prone districts committed suicide. But only 86 - roughly 18.45% - were considered eligible for compensation which government offers to the next of kin. Ninety-six cases are under probe and 284 cases have been rejected by government. From 2001 to July 31 this year, 5,503 farmers committed suicide out of which 2,030 cases were found eligible for benefits of the government while 3,377 were non eligible and 96 are under investigation.

Sources from the commissionerate stated that a compensation of Rs 1 lakh is provided to eligible beneficiaries of which Rs 30,000 paid in cash while Rs 70,000 deposited in the account of the farmer. Only those cases in which farmers committed suicide due to in indebtedness, excess follow up by a bank or moneylender for repayments and low yield are considered to be eligible for the compensation. The district collector heads a committee which comprises officials of the departments concerned and NGO representatives to review farmer suicide cases. Talathi of the village does the enquiry of the farmers on various grounds and then eligibility of the beneficiary is decided.

Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, while talking to TOI, claimed that Chief Minister Ashok Chavan himself had told officials not to show more number of beneficiaries on record and officials are following the orders. Tiwari also said that the administration has put forth the flimsy reasons to reject the case. "The administration is insensitive towards the problems of the farmers," he said. The government issued a GR regarding non-eligible beneficiaries in February this year in which it was stated that the benefits of the Antyodaya Scheme should be extended to the widows of farmers who were not considered eligible for ex-gratia. "Except Yavatmal district, this scheme is not being implemented properly," said Tiwari.

Many hurdles for Wardha's farmer suicide cases


Although farmer suicides continue to take place in Wardha, very few cases are proved genuine. In the last eight years from 2001 to August 2009, the total number of suicide cases in Wardha was 512, out of which only 179 have been considered as genuine cases and were thus eligible to get the benefits. Eleven cases out of 512 are still under probe. Out of 512 cases, 393 have been categorized as relatives of the farmers while 119 is the number of direct farmers. Since January 1 to Aug 31 this year, 46 farmers are reported to have committed suicide, out of which only six have been recognized as genuine and 11 cases are under consideration.

"In many cases, it is the wife of the farmer who commits suicide. In such situations, it is not considered as a genuine case because no agriculture land is found registered in the name of the deceased," says a social worker who works for the welfare of the farmers.

The number of farmer suicide cases in Wardha have been rising steadily over the years. The numbers of the cases in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 were 3, 24, 14, 29, 26 respectively while it dramatically increased in the years of 2006, 2007, 2008, with 154, 128, 88 respectively. In 2009 until August, 46 cases have been recorded.

The mammoth loan waiver scheme has also not made much of an impact in Vidarbha. Of the Rs 71,000 crore sanctioned for loan waiver of farmers in India, Rs 13- to Rs 14,000 crore were meant for Maharashtra. However, less than Rs 3,000 crore were earmarked for Vidarbha farmers, say sources.

===============================================

Thursday, September 10, 2009

“Dark Secrets of Baramati ” -VJAS asked sharad pawar to resign

VIDARBHA JAN ANDOLAN SAMITI

11,Trisaranagar,Khamala,Nagpur-440025

Mobile-09422108846, VJAS BLOG-kishortiwari.blogspot.com,email-kishortiwari@gmail.com

Ref-Vidarbha Farmers Crisis Very Urgent Dated-10th sept. 2009


To,

SHRI.SHARAD PAWAR,

AGRICULTURE MINISTER

GOVT.OF INDIA,

NEW DELHI-110011

REF : “Dark Secrets of Baramati News Item published by Pune Mirror

Sub- Request look at this News Item and resign from Post of union Agriculture and food supply to save Dying Indian farmers.

Respected sir,

Sadar Pranam,

Please find reproduced the article published by Pune Mirror after visiting your home place Baramati and it’s shocking to note that the grim situation of dying farmers their and this is matter of national shame for us but as per as this news item is very much concern to you that reflects the seriousness of distress that has spread throughout Maharashtra when you are Indian agriculture minister.

In last six year after you took charge of Agriculture Minister as main reason blowing of Indian agrarian crisis is that you promoted cash crop in place of food crop, very costly GM technology, free trade and wrong policies to protect MNCs and It’s fact that in last six year when more than 10000 farmers were killing themselves in Maharashtra we were too busy to attend this crisis because of your excessive involvement in cricket .

When you came to vidarbha in June 2005 to promote Bt.cotton after giving commercial trial permission to Monsanto company’s very costly seed ,you spoke about the aggressive farming practices and agrarian revolution in baramati but now truth is coming out it is not inline with fact as new item exposes your wild claims ,

I quote

Dark secrets of Baramati

Farmer suicides in Union Agri Minister Sharad Pawar’s home turf. Surviving kin not compensated even after a year, nor have their loans been waived under central scheme. This is Baramati’s untold story

By Nitin Brahme

http://www.punemirror.in/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=62&contentid=2009090920090909172622234d53b0336&sectxslt=#ftr2

The amount of politically-correct slogans about bettering the lot of farmers is endless. But the ground reality is totally different.

Even as the central government weaves new plans for drought-hit farmers, many of them are actually committing suicide. To make things worse, in the last two years many farmers have taken their own lives in Baramati, the stronghold of Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar. And add to that the fact that these farmers have not received any compensation, you have a rural India that is far from healthy or wealthy.

The amount of politicallycorrect slogans about bettering the lot of farmers is endless. But the ground reality is totally different.

Even as the central government weaves new plans for drought-hit farmers, many of them are actually committing suicide. To make things worse, in the last two years many farmers have taken their own lives in Baramati, the stronghold of Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar. And add to that the fact that these farmers have not received any compensation, you have a rural India that is far from healthy or wealthy. This reporter visited Baramati and saw the hopelessness first hand. If this is happening in Pawar’s own den, can the plight of farmers in far-off Vidarbha be any better? The much-hyped loan waiver scheme of the government has not done much to alleviate the pain of the ordinary farmer even in rich Baramati.

People say that Baramati is the most developed and politically important area of the state. However, the administration is not ready to admit that farmers have committed suicide in this important constituency. And even after a year of the suicides, the families of the dead farmers have not received any monetary help from government whatsoever. This reporter spent a couple of days in the villages adjacent to Morgoan-Baramati Road. The suffering families do not have decent houses to live in nor do they have the money to live a reasonably dignified life. And because the bread earner is dead, their social status has been chipped and their voices aren’t heard anymore.

The Mirror team met three such families, who have lost the man of the house to suicides due to pressure of debts and poverty.

THE JAGTAPS

Dada Sagaji Jagtap committed suicide on January 1, 2008. His village is Baburdi, which is near the Morgaon-Baramati Road. His mother Girijabai, who is 70 and ailing, pines for her son. Jagtap’s 40-year-old wife Alka and daughter-in-law Ashwini, who is just 23, are some how managing to trudge along the path of life. His sons, Sopan and Yogesh, are wandering around in search of work.

Alka said that her husband committed suicide because he could not repay a loan of just Rs 17,000. She said, “We used to have 32 acres of land, but it slipped out of our hands as debts increased. When he died, he had left our last four acres as collateral for a loan and the moneylender took the land from us. After his death, Dr Neelam Gorhe gave us Rs 25,000.

However, the government did not give us anything, nor was our loan waived. We don’t even know if our case is going on or not. We could not go to court because we do not have a single paisa.”Gorhe had collected the money for such farmers by taking vargani in the city.

Ashwini said that earlier they had a yellow ration card (which is given to those below the poverty line), but after her father-in-law’s death the government cancelled the ration card, and instead issued a saffron card. Now, the shopkeepers are not giving them any ration. Their nights go in darkness because they can’t pay their pending electricity bill.

THE SAWANTS

Somnath aka Anil Sawant, a 30-year-old farmer from Anjangaon committed suicide on August 1, 2008. After his death, his wife Surekha started working as an Anganwadi teacher. He is also survived by his three children and his mother. The Sawant family does not have any male member now. Sulochana, Somnath’s mother, said, “He took a loan of Rs 40,000 from a moneylender by pawning three acres of our land. He also borrowed Rs 25,000 from a co-operative society. After his suicide, Ajitdada (guardian minister Ajit Pawar) gave a job to my daughterin-law and the panchayat gave a home, under a below poverty line scheme. The government had promised us Rs 1 lakh compensation, but we heard that we they granted us just Rs 10,000.”

Sulochana also said that their loan was not waived, and their land is still mortgaged. The future, she says, is far too bleak.

THE KUMBHARS

Seventy-year-old Dattatreya Shambhudev Kumbhar committed suicide on April 11, 2009. He is survived by his wife Koshalya and two sons, Mukund and Somanath, and another relative. They live in Gunawadi, which is just half-akilometre from Baramati City.

Kumbhar’s daughter-in-law Usha said that he had three acres of land, but was pressed under a Rs 12 lakh loan. He had taken these loans from a bank, two cooperative societies and a some private moneylenders.

After his death, Ajit Pawar visited the village and gave the family Rs 1 lakh, but government has not yet bothered to waive their loan or compensate them.

UNQUOTE

Now I understand that it was wrong to blame you that you are not having time visit dying vidarbha farmers as it is clear from news item that you are not even serious look at the dying farmers of baramati your home turf.

PRAYER

You are kindly requested to resign from the post of union agriculture minister or replace it with your daughter supriya sule as you are too busy in other money matters and engineered so many wasted interests in cricket, commodity market, real-estate, promotion of MNCs .

Please do the needful and save dying Indian farmers

Thanking you,

Yours Faith Fully

Kishor Tiwari

President

Vidarbha Jan andolan Samiti

kishortiwari@gmail.com

kishortiwari.blogspot.com

contact-09422108846

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

RBI delicenses Nagpur Mahila Bank

Printed from

RBI delicenses Mahila Bank

NAGPUR: After five years of its fate hanging in balance, RBI has scrapped the licence for Nagpur Mahila Nagari Sahakari Bank. It means that the institution will not be allowed to undertake banking business any more and an official liquidator will be appointed soon to dispose of its assets.

However, there is a still a ray of hope for it to continue to exist, in case a bigger urban cooperative bank takes it over. An all eves bank, it was founded by former Lt Governor of Puducherry Rajani Ray in 1975.

This beleaguered cooperative has been under RBI restrictions since 2004, after the board of directors was superseded for alleged mismanagement of affairs leading to losses.

The RBI had issued orders restricting withdrawals from each account to Rs 1,000. This had left the 61,000 depositors of the bank in the lurch.

Most of them were senior citizens who had parked their life time savings. Two other cooperative banks of the city, Samata Sahakari Bank and Parmatma Ek Sevak Bank, are also under RBI restrictions.

However, sources add that the move may actually be advantageous for a majority of depositors as 59,000 of them have funds up to Rs 1lakh.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Maharashtra polls: Act II, Scene I-P. Sainath


Maharashtra polls: Act II, Scene I-P. Sainath




September 7, 2009

Maharashtra polls: Act II, Scene I

P. Sainath





·

There are more fronts in the fray across the State this time. And with multi-cornered contests in almost all seats, there could be some major upsets.

Unfazed by either drought or swine flu, the Congress party in the State was celebrating a victory in the upcoming Assembly elections even before these had been announced. The Congress-NCP alliance had won 25 of the State’s 48 Lok Sabha seats in May this year. The rival Sena-BJP front won 20 and others took 3. This convinced the Congress of two things. One, they would repeat their win in the Assembly polls now set for October 13. The ‘bounce’ from the Lok Sabha win will boost them further. And two, the NCP is at their mercy (which at this point it does seem to be).

In the Lok Sabha polls this year, the Congress-NCP led in 133 of 288 Assembly segments. That’s just eleven more than the number of segments the BJP-Sena alliance led in. If this were repeated in the Assembly polls, neither side would have a majority on its own. And new fronts will cause upsets in sundry seats. Then what accounts for the confidence? In two words — Raj Thackeray. The MNS’s showing torpedoed the Shiv Sena in the Mumbai-Thane region. (Never mind that these polls could be fought on different terms and issues.)

With voting just over a month away, it’s worth asking: How has this State done in the past few years? How have governments performed?

Maharashtra lost two million jobs before the “economic slowdown” began. Food production was reckoned to have fallen 24 per cent — oilseeds 49 per cent and sugarcane 43 per cent — in 2008-09. All that, without a drought. The State is third from the bottom in the country in terms of people living in poverty. Fifth from the bottom in terms of percentages. Over thirty million people, or close to a third of Maharashtra’s population, are BPL. It is also the State worst-hit by a policy-driven agrarian crisis — a very different thing from drought. It has seen over 40,000 farmers suicides since 1995.

The State government’s own economic survey reveals plenty. It shows that employment in Maharashtra, “which was on the rise till 2004-05 at 4.3 crore, declined to 4.1 crore in 2007-08, clearly indicating the footprint of recession.” The last six words are a joke. That figure ends at March 2008. The global shock struck more than five months later. It does raise the question, though: if the State could lose so many jobs before the slowdown, how many must have vanished once that began?

Maharashtra lost those two million jobs in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08. It means that, on average, over 1,800 people lost their jobs every day in that period. In a time of rising food prices (and falling foodgrain output in the State). So how did it fare in 2008-09? We don’t know the half of it. But we do know that employment generation under various schemes fell 30 per cent. In fact a drop of 18 million days compared to 2007-08.

However, it was also during that time that India made steady progress in the Forbes lists of dollar billionaires, crossing the 51 mark (i.e. Rank 4 in the world) by 2008. More than 20 of those billionaires had an address in Mumbai. One of them is doing the city proud, building what must rank amongst the costliest residences in the planet. That, while over half the people in his city rot in slums. His Xanadu — with 27 storeys and three helipads — will be a tourist landmark. Also a shining symbol of the obscene inequality this State revels in.

As the price rise shredded household budgets these past few years, some governments tried to reduce its impact on their people. Those in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, amongst others, unilaterally increased the “BPL population” in their states. They then gave them cheap rice at Rs. 2 a kilo. (Or even Rs. 1 a kilo as in Tamil Nadu). The government of Maharashtra did nothing of the sort. The number of workdays fell when a hungry population needed them most.

Next door, Andhra Pradesh mourns a chief minister who will be remembered for boosting the NREGs, old age and women’s pensions, and rice at Rs. 2 a kilo. The previous chief minister of Maharashtra’s most memorable moment came when he visited the terror-attack shattered Taj and Trident Hotels with his actor son and Bollywood’s Ram Gopal Varma in tow. Disaster tourists checking out the rich cinematic promise thrown up by the tragic events. But he too cared for the down and out, too, he told the media. After all, pointed out Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh, he had not prosecuted all those farmers committing suicide in his State on his watch. “Committing suicide is an offence under the Indian Penal Code. But did we book any farmer for this offence? Have you reported that?” ( The Hindustan Times, October 31, 2007).

The present Chief Minister, less given to such talk, nonetheless declares he will take the State even further ahead. “It is my dream to raise the per capita income in the state to Rs. 1 lakh.” Well he’s got part of it right. It is a dream. The government is proud that Maharashtra’s per capita income (2007-08) “is higher than the national income.” And that “the State ranks second after Haryana among the major states of India.” The State’s per capita income was a hefty Rs. 47,051. Per capita National Income was a piffling Rs. 33,282.

The State’s per capita income is an odd construct resting on a few rich regions. Move out of those and it plummets. Mumbai — home to more dollar billionaires than all the Nordic nations put together in 2008 — has a per capita income of Rs. 73,930. In the well-off Konkan region that is Rs. 66,197. Get down to Aurangabad in Marathwada and you’re looking at Rs. 30,499. Cross into Vidharbha and you’re a little over Rs. 29,000. So the Rs. 47,051 figure reflects no one’s reality well. What’s clear are the stunning regional, class and caste inequalities of the State.

Only Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have more human beings below the poverty line than Maharashtra does. In percentage terms (at 30.7 per cent BPL), the State moves up a slot — above Madhya Pradesh amongst bigger states. In 1993-94, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra had more or less the same BPL ratio — around 36 per cent. By 2004-05 those two states had sharply reduced their poverty figures both in absolute terms and in percentages. Maharashtra’s percentage fell much less than theirs. And the Sate’s total BPL number went up not down. But heck, let’s dream. Rs. 1 lakh per capita income it shall be.

Mumbai, too, with all its wealth, has its own Third World within: The National Family Health Survey (NFHS - 3) shows us that 40 per cent of children below 3 years of age in Mumbai are malnourished. That, by the way, is higher than the Sate’s average. Mumbai also has millions who live on less than Rs. 19 a day. Yet rural-urban disparities, too, are real. As the NGO Sathi points out in its “Report on Health Inequities in Maharashtra,” the rural parts of the state have 22 hospital beds per lakh of population. In urban Maharashtra, that is 431 beds. This does not stop the government from claiming to be “at the forefront of health care development in India.”

Per capita foodgrain production in Maharashtra was just about 100 kilograms (2004-05) says the State’s economic survey. (That’s a nearly 40 per cent deficit against its minimum requirement.) It was around 212 in Madhya Pradesh, 166 in Andhra Pradesh, 186 in Karnataka, all neighbours. It was 262 kg in Bihar at the time.

And then there’s all those farmers the government was nice to. The suicide victims it did not prosecute. National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data reveal 40,666 farmers suicides in Maharashtra between 1995 and 2007. The State accounts for over a fifth of all such deaths in India. In 2007, Maharashtra logged over 38 per cent of all farm suicides in the five States worst-hit by the phenomenon. It was the only State that saw, since 1997, an increase of over 100 per cent in farm suicides — while actually recording a two per cent decline in suicides by non-farmers.

All this has not dampened the Congress’ spirit. It is sure it will win the way it did in the Lok Sabha polls: against a split opposition, with the Shiv Sena hobbled by a lame duck BJP on the one hand and undercut by an aggressive Raj Thackeray on the other. But there are more fronts in the fray across the State this time. And with multi-cornered contests in almost all seats, there could be some major upsets. The more so in a situation where no one is sitting on a majority.

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11 more farmers commit suicide in Vidarbha-Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times

11 more farmers commit suicide in Vidarbha-Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times

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Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Nagpur, September 06, 2009

When a high-level team from the centre was visiting different districts and assessing the loss because of drought in the region, 11 more farmers from Vidarbha ended their lives since September 1. A central team has come here to make an on-the-spot study of drought-hit districts of Vidarbha region.

According to reports reaching Nagpur on Sunday, among the victims, four were from Yavatmal, three from Amravati, two from Buldhana and one each from Gondia and Akola district. Nine farmers killed themselves by swallowing pesticides while two ended their lives by hanging themselves, reports said.

Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti claimed that most of the farmers had taken the drastic step because of crop failure. Paddy, Soyabean and cotton crops were badly affected because of paucity of rains in the region, he pointed out.

An average two farmers now commit suicide every day in the region. As many as 48 farmers have committed suicide in Vidarbha last month while the figure was 784 last year. The farmers' pressure groups in Nagpur attributed rising costs of cultivation, low rate of remunerative price of agriculture produces, lack of credit availability for small and marginal farmers and repeated crop failures are the main reasons for such a pathetic state of farmers in the region.

The former Shetkari Sanghatana president Vijay Jawandhia demanded that the government should declare a total moratorium on the farm loans in view of the situation of farmers in Vidarbha till the crisis ends.

Tiwari insisted that the government should also provide food security for farmers of Vidarbha to prevent more deaths.