Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mumbai-based north Indian offers help for Vidarbha widows-Times of India

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Mumbai-based north Indian offers help for Vidarbha widows
20 Nov 2008, 0447 hrs IST, TNN

NAGPUR: Even as a parochial party in the state has managed to set the tone for a political agenda against migrants, especially north Indians, a Mumbai-based Hindi speaking businessman has taken a vow to come to the rescue of widows of farmers who committed suicide in Vidarbha.

"While two Indians figure in the latest list of world's top 20 richest persons, it is unfortunate that millions of countrymen do not have access to two square meals a day. But instead of focusing on such sensitive issues, some political leaders are engaged in divisive politics and pitting one community against another," said Tulsising Rajput.

Owner of several shopping malls in Mumbai suburbs, Rajput on Wednesday offered to extend financial aid to widows of the farmers in Vidarbha. Rajput who has joined hands with Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti recently floated Akhil Bharatiya Jan Andolan Samiti to fight for the farmers' cause.

Speaking chaste Marathi, Rajput addressed reporters here and said he would enlist the support of north Indians and non-Marathi speaking communities. "On November 29 we will organise a 'dharna satyagrah' at Azad Maidan in Mumbai to highlight the miserable condition of farmers' widows in Vidarbha," said Rajput. VJAS president Kishore Tiwari said a large number of widows will travel to Mumbai to participate in the agitation. As many as 5,000 farmers have committed suicide during the last one decade mainly because of the anti-farmer policies of the government, Tiwari alleged.

"We are hoping that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is scheduled to visit Mumbai on that day, will spare some moments for us and hear the widows' plight," said Rajput.

"Each of the widow participating in the agitation will be given Rs 10,000 as aid. We are also planning to send Rs 500 per month through money order to each of the distressed families in Vidarbha," said Rajput. Tiwari said the main demand is implementation of the Narendra Jadhav committee recommendations. The committee report was placed before the state cabinet in July, but till date no action has been taken on it, Tiwari alleged.

The report has recommended food security, easy credit flow and access to affordable healthcare system as measures to address the distress in Vidarbha and to check suicide among farmers.

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