Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi, is a harvest festival celebrated in the Punjab region. The festival also celebrated as new year in few regions of the country has come with a hope for those looking for kidney donors to save their lives. As the crops are getting spoilt due to rains and government compensation as royal as 63 rupees, trend indicates that many farmers might be forced to take drastic steps including ending their lives.
Two years back a group of farmers sought permissions from the government to sell their organs(read kidney) to settle their debts. According to reports protest leader Gurnam Singh, from the Bharat Kisan Union then said, "It has become increasingly difficult for us to live and the only way out is by selling our kidneys and other organs. The land belongs to our ancestors and is like our mother so we will never sell it. At least selling our organs would enable us to repay debt and live for a few more years and feed our families."
In January this year, Ramesh Khamankar, a cotton farmer in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district walked to his ruined fields and drank from a bottle of pesticide. He died a few hours later. He was 57. His death was not the only case in the country.
According to the National Crimes Records Bureau, 270,940 farmers have taken their lives since 1995.This occurred at an annual average rate of 14,462 deaths between 1995 and 2000. Critics have pointed out that the numbers may be even higher because the figures are understated by the government. They say that several deaths are not reported as suicides and due to social prejudices, women farmer deaths are not registered as farmer suicides.
More than 60% of people in India rely on agriculture for their income, but the recent spate of unseasonable rainfall has damaged standing crops in 14 states and may lead to a big loss in the wheat harvest. Rains at the end of February and March damaged crops in 11 million hectares (ha) spread over Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab, according to a 26 March ministry estimate.
An estimated 6 million ha of wheat crop, nearly one-fifth of the sown area, has been damaged. There has been more showers and hailstorms since the data was released, even as major wheat-growing states began harvesting the crop.
Many districts across the country received excess rainfall compared to normal rainfall during march. Though the rains were wide spread from North to South, states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, few districts of Sikkim, UP, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, received high intense rainfall with more than 50 mm. In other states, the quantum of rainfall received was less than 50 mm over the week.
The unseasonable rainfall impacted the horticultural crops such as Mango, Pomegranate, Apple, Grapes which are at different stages of flowering, fruit ripening and harvesting. The intense storms caused flower drop, damage to fruits and may cause pest and disease problems due to the conducive moisture conditions. Crops which are harvested and left in the fields for collection suffered extensive damage. The seasonal crops, early sown ones, experienced lodging and water-logging problems. Parts of North East states received less rainfall than normal causing moisture stress to the standing crops
The government has announced a package for aid comes as an insult in may areas. Rain-hit farmers in Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad district, reeling under severe debt due to crop loss following unseasonable rains and hailstorm, are being handed paltry sums of Rs 63 and Rs 100 as compensation.
Need anyone say anymore !!!