Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rain fail to reduce despair as six more west Vidarbha farmers committed suicide in last two days

Rain fail to reduce despair as six more west Vidarbha farmers committed suicide in last two days

VJAS urged UPA chief Smt. Sonia Gandhi for urgent intervention

Nagpur-27th august 2009,

The monsoon arrival after 25 days of dry spell in west vidarbha failed to reduce the despair and gloom among 3 million cotton growers as six more ill-fated farmer suicides reported in last two days 2 each from Yavatmal,Washim and Amravati districts which are most effected in the on going agrarian crisis which has claimed more 6340 farm suicide since 2005 .

The recent victims of continuous apathy and administrative negligence involved in prime minister relief package fro west vidarbha farmers are facing complete crop failure due to drought are

1.Shiram Waghade in Yavatmal District
2.Shayrao Rathode in Yavatmal District
3.Kisan Jamkar in Washim District.
4.Sunil Chavan in Washim District.

5.Ashok Tigane in Amaravati District

6. Ruprao Hire in Amaravati District

This take toll of vidarbha farm suicide in the month of august to 42 which is steep rise after the recent decline in the spiral cotton farmers suicides started from June -2005
,kishore tiwari Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti informed in press note today.

Vidarbha is staring at the worst ever drought this year with an unprecedented short fall in monsoon rain , pest epidemic destroying standing crop and steep decline in ground water level as these four-month (June-September) monsoon is the main source of water for irrigation in the vidarbha as more than 90% farmers are dry land farmers involved in BT.cotton cultivation which recommended for the sowing in the assured irrigated land hence nature seems to have turning against Vidarbha this year as with half of the kharif season is over, the region has received less than 40% of the normal rainfall, the total yield is likely to effected by 50% ,Tiwari added.

“Total apathy of local Govt. and administration has beeen the main cause of recent despair along with on going massive corruption in relief package in by Indian prime minister to west vidarbha farmers as nobody is monitoring the progress in PMO even after Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh has promised to do so. The fuctioing of Maharshtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is too hostile to allow him to continue as CM for a day as Govt. has more than Rs.100 crore to give various schemes announced by the state in last ten days but same govt. has no moey to give food grain and health care even after the it’s own rented one committee of Dr.Narendra Jadhav ”kishor tiwari of VJAS added.

VJAS has urged UPA chief Smt. Sonia Gandhi to visit west vidarbha abd review the situation after the prime minister relief package and mega loan waiver as corruption in package and complete failure of bankers to provide fresh crop loan to farmers is adding fuel in existing despair gloom in already distressed farmers hence we want urgent relief from administration ,Tiwari added.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Indian Farmers Driven to Suicide- Ary News

Article
Indian Farmers Driven to Suicide
Updated : Tuesday July 21 , 2009 12:04:12 AM

Founder of the Jan Andolan Samiti group, Kishor Tiwari turned away from a career in engineering to defend the rights of farmers – a group known for high suicide rates – in the Vidarbha area of Maharashtra state, India. He describes how lives are being torn apart because climate change has led to failed monsoons, drought and unnaturally hot summers:

In 1997, at the peak of my 16-year career as an electrical engineer, I left my lucrative job to perform social work. I began cultivating cotton, and quickly realised that such a life was very different from that of people living in big cities.

The survival of an ordinary farmer, on an agricultural income, depends on many factors – higher crop seed yield, procurement of superior seeds and fertilisers at subsidized rates, the availability of banks loans, cheaper repayments of interest and most of all a good monsoon.

In 1999 I started Jan Andolan Samiti, an organisation to fight for the rights of local farmers and tribal people, focusing on the issues of human rights and the environment. In 2005 I began to protest against farmer’s suicides, because those unable to pay off debts had begun to kill themselves in my region of Vidarbha.

Vidarbha has become renowned for farmer’s suicides. Farmers traditionally lead a poverty-stricken and miserable life, but this has become worse since the collapse of the area's rural economic system.

One of the most worrying factors affecting our community is climate change. The Met department had predicted an excellent monsoon this year. Now, the threat of El Nino looming large over India may prove the weather pundits wrong. Due to El Nino, central India will get only half the expected amount of rain this year. Northern India will be the worst affected by this non-activity.

Indian farmers have always been dependent on the monsoon and its benefits for the harvest. Those in Vidarbha mainly grow cotton and pulses. Crops were sown before the onset of the monsoon, so when it arrives late the seeds are damaged, slashing income. Whatever rain we do receive is scant.

Western Vidarbha, which normally gets 40mm of rain during a good monsoon, received only 12-13mm this year. Eastern Vidarbha received a poor 3-4mm again
st the normal 60mm. We have lost a good month of monsoon though there is another two months left to rain.

As river and dam water fall below normal levels, irrigation dries up. Lack of potable water is becoming another big problem. One of the suggestions I made to farmers is to shift from water-dependent crops, like paddy and cotton, to less thirsty crops such as Jowar and Bajri.

In 2009, Vidarbha received the smallest amount of rain in five years. On the other hand, sometimes we experience unseasonal rains during non–monsoon season which destroy our crops. Excessive rains flood our fields. During summer we see abnormal rises in the daily temperature and the heat often becomes unbearable for farmers working in open fields. Sun stroke is now common.

It is farmers in Vidarbha who will be the worst affected by monsoon failure this year. It will bring back memories of past suicides. Most farmers here have not benefited from loan waiver schemes introduced by the government, and still have huge debts to pay off. Crop failure has made them even poorer and scant rainfall has pushed the prices of all essential items extremely high. Poor farmers have no money to care for their family.

Cows are considered holy animals to a Hindu family. Lack of grass and the high price of fodder has made their rearing expensive, so farmers are increasingly selling them and using the money for household expenses. I am concerned that this grim situation will drive more to suicide.

Vidarbha has seen rampant deforestation, which I believe contributes to the odd weather. Landless farmers clear forest to cultivate crops and officials turn a blind eye to illegal lumber operations. The thinning of forest trees and plants has crippled forest density and heavy deforestation in Central India has created ecological imbalances.

Farmers using chemicals and pesticides are affecting the flora and fauna of the region. My organisation is doing its best to educate people about this but the government also has to play a role in stopping damage to our environment.

Farmers are conducting religious rites, looking up at the sky and praying for rainfall. The government is even planning to use cloud seeding. So I am keeping my fingers crossed for a monsoon revival

Thursday, August 20, 2009

HC notice to Maha Govt for extending MLA Fund-Hindustan Times

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Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Nagpur, August 20, 2009
First Published: 23:13 IST(20/8/2009)
Last Updated: 23:16 IST(20/8/2009)

The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Thursday served a notice to the state government for extending the MLA Fund till the end of the current financial year for the existing legislators, whose term would be expired by October this year.

Responding to public interest litigation (PIL) on the issue, a division bench of the Court, comprising Justice AP Lawande and Justice PD Kode, asked the government to reply on the issue within the next two weeks.

While filing a writ petition, Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, pointed out that the state government in its recent resolution directed that the entire amount of the MLA Local Development Funds should be spent before the expiry of the terms of existing MLAs.

“This has been done contrary to the general practice being adopted by all State Governments and Central Government to allow only proportionate quantum of Local Area Development Funds to MLAs/MPs, considering the balance tenure in the respective Financial Year, especially when the legislature / parliament term is ending mid of the Financial Year. As such the GR issued is bad in the eyes of law because it is causing direct loss to the state treasury,” the petitioner said.

The government had issued the GR in this regard just to favour the existing MLAs whose tenure would expire six months’ before the completion of the current financial year. Tiwari urged the court to direct the state government for withdrawing the GR immediately and save the public money that is being “misused” for political reasons.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When a week is a long time -P. Sainath on Vidarbha Drought Crisis






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Opinion - News Analysis

When a week is a long time

P. Sainath



Date:20/08/2009 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2009/08/20/stories/2009082056850900.htm

Monsoon failure hits Vidharbha, certainly Yavatmal, at a critical time.

— PHOTO: P. SAINATH

Lachchu Patel with some of the cattle he has bought up and provided shelter to in Yavatmal.

“My collections have fallen by over 50 per cent as compared to last year,” says a despondent Prashant Balki in Devdhari where we run into him patrolling the village on his motorbike. Young Balki is a collection agent for the Wani Urban Bank in Yavatmal district. His job is to collect small sums each day from villagers in Ralegaon taluka who join the daily savings scheme of the bank. (Some banks call these tiny deposits “pygmy” saving schemes.) People have been badly hit by the drought and crisis,” he says. “They find even small amounts hard to give.”

“Naturally,” says Gulshan Ghai, a small storekeeper who’s walking by. “The price rise has been hurting people badly for quite some time. Now they’re staring at crop failure.” Ghai is also a farmer owning seven acres.

In Jarur village of Ghattanji taluka, Moreshwar Waitale is discovering that when he shifted from cotton to soybean four seasons ago, he traded one volatility for another. “Three seasons, soybean did okay and I escaped the kind of losses I suffered on cotton. So this year I brought all my 15 acres under soybean. Now it’s failing totally.” Cotton, while costlier to cultivate, is also hardier in the kind of weather Vidharbha finds itself facing. “Soybean is likely to go under much faster,” say farmers here. It is also riddled with pest in some parts of the district. The consensus is that late rains will help with fodder but not too much with crop yields.

Monsoon failure hits Vidharbha, certainly Yavatmal, at a critical time. Some things had changed in this district. A vigorous agitation — which saw hundreds of farmers incessantly beating drums outside banks — and a more receptive administration — saw Yavatmal actually cross its crop loan targets for the first in years. “Against the target of Rs. 520 crores,” says District collector Sanjay Deshmukh, “we touched Rs. 560 crores.” This was impressive and Yavatmal was the only district to do so in Vidharbha. The irony, he says, is that a drought could see the recipients of those loans turn defaulters next year. This is a genuine fear. Indebtedness, always high in this region, is again on the rise. Vidharbha’s problems did not arise from a drought, but will worsen with it. The next week will be the longest. A tense wait for the rains.

That the pressure is already on is evident in the fall in Balki’s daily savings collections and the distress sale of cattle in the villages. “People are not even taking their cattle to sell them in the main markets,” says Kishor Tiwari. “Trucks headed for the abattoir are picking them up right at the villages.” His organisation, the Vidharbha Jan Andolan Samiti spearheaded the stir against the banks. “Mainly, those sold at the market under normal conditions would be for draught and milch purposes. Those sold in this situation are often headed for the slaughter house.”

The Collector believes 80 per cent of this season’s crop can “still be saved if there are good rains within the week.” He also believes that a lot can be done to secure a better rabi season. Like many here, he supports the idea of digging a pond on every farm. That too, could help enlarge “the area under rabi from around 10 per cent to perhaps 30 per cent of the total 9 lakh hectares under cultivation in kharif.” The union rural development ministry’s latest announcement now allows, in theory at least, such ponds to be created on private farms through the NREGs. Meanwhile the district has to contend with a sinking water table and several talukas where rainfall has been sparse to nil for three weeks.

In the midst of the chaos, impending and real, we run into one of Yavatmal’s truly curious characters. He’s called “Lachchu Patel” but his real name is Lakshman Rao Bollenwar. He is of Telugu origin but his people have been here for generations. Lachchu’s family are not vegetarians. He has a poor opinion of the VHP and particularly of its gaushalas or cow shelters. “These people are not farmers,” he scoffs “and they know little about looking after cattle.” He on the other hand, is a skilled big farmer who does know cattle. “Cows are central to farming life,” he says and he does not mean that in religious terms. “I love cows.” So much so that he buys up cows bound for slaughter and cares for them. He presently shelters over a hundred such animals — apart from other livestock.

Lachchu became famous by intercepting cows due for slaughter on the roads, in the villages, “even at the butcher’s.” Not with violence or threats, but as a buyer. And the truck drivers carting cows to the abattoirs know a good touch when they see one. They stop at his house en route. “Knowing,” says one of his friends, “that they will get a much better rate from Lachchu than from the slaughter house. Earlier, he chased the trucks, now they come uninvited to his place.” But how on earth does he afford feeding them, big farmer though he might be? That’s where his skills and acumen come in. “About a dozen of these animals aren’t so bad,” says Lachchu. From these, after restoring them to health, he gets 40 litres of milk or more daily, which he can sell and make up to Rs. 800 a day on average. Or well over Rs. 20,000 a month. That still isn’t enough to care for such a large herd on the scale that Lachchu does. So he puts in the rest himself.

However, we press him, you cannot endlessly acquire new head of cattle, that too in bad shape? “Each year, I give away about 30 to 40 when I’ve got them healthy,” he says. “And since that’s about how many I pick up each year, the number remains roughly constant. All I ask is that the poor or needy family I give them to promises to keep the cow and not ever send it to the abattoir. It adds to their income and security. Farmers need cows. Cows need farmers.”

On the highways, though, are still vans headed for abattoirs. Evidence of farms in distress, losing the cows they need.

© Copyright 2000 - 2009 The Hindu


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rs.110 crore Bailout Package to DCCBank Nanded is misuse power and Public Money-VJAS demands sacking of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan

Rs.110 crore Bailout Package to DCCB(coop- Bank) Nanded is misuse power and Public Money-VJAS demands sacking of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan


1.RBI appointed liquidator on DCC Bank Nanded after Rs.770 crore scam by old Directors include Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and his close relative and NCP leader Ex-Central Minister Suryakanta Patil

2.As per Govt. G.R. No.DCB-1206/556/2-S Dated 10th august 2009 Maharashtra Govt. Gifted Rs.110 crore chief minister ashok chavan’s DCC Bank Nanded (copy enclosed).

3.As per Govt. G.R. No.DCB-1206/16/2-S Dated 26th march 2007 Maharashtra Govt. Gifted Rs.20 crore DCC Bank Nanded

4.As per Govt. G.R. No.DCB-1206/5666/2-S Dated 14th march 2008 Maharashtra Govt. gifted Rs.1000 crore as short term loan to DCC Bank Nanded

Nagpur-17th august 2009

When maharashtra govt. has no money to give food grain loan (Khawati Karz)to 3 million tribal even after order of High Court ,chief secretary is not ready to give subsidies food to one million distressed and dying vidarbha farmers even after recommendation of Dr.Narendra Jadhav Committee report and as per Economic Survey of 2009 Govt admits that

“2 million jobs are lost, food grain production dropped by 25%,outstanding debt mounting to Rs.1,58,520 crore ,interest payment on debt is Rs. 12,953 crore,30% drop in employment provided under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), poverty ratio in the State is 30.7 per cent as against All-India average of 27.5 percent and more than 6000 farm suicides and lacs of tribal death due to malnutrition and starvation

but same government has released Rs.110 crore as financial aid to RBI liquated District Central Cooperative Bank i.e. DCC Bank Nanded home district of Maharashtra chief minister Ashok chavan in which chief minister , close relatives and NCP leader ex-central minister Surshkanta Patil defaulted more than Rs.770 crore and RBI has appointed district collector as it’s liquidator and imposed all restrictions under banking regulation act-1949 section 37 and all misdeed and corruption of the DCCB Nanded is under investigation .

“This is gross misuse of power and attempt save from criminal prosecution of all directors involved in massive Rs.770 crore scam in which top leaders of congress and NCP are named which include ashok chavan brother in-law Bhaskararo Khatgaokar M.P. and Ex-Central Minister Surykanta Patil . We are demanding sacking of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and moving the petition before Maharashtra Governor S.C.Jamir and Lokayukta for his urgent removal” Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti informed in press release today.

“As election are due in October 2009 and such illegal decision and gross misuse of power is rampant as daily such G.R.s are being released by this maharashtra Govt. sanctioning thousands of crores with out legitimate locus and allowing the gross violation of R.B.I. and central finance ministry earlier restriction due to over running debt on the state and present DCCB Nanded G.R. is piece of iceberg Tiwari added.

DCC Nanded was given Rs.20 crore in March 2007 and then Rs.100 crore short-term loans to be refunded in three years now that short loan ahs been converted in financial aid with retrospective effect and this has been done by the very smart babus in co-operative deptt. now headed Dr.Sudhir Goyal , “we will take all babus to task for these financial misdeed as these acts will not only revive the corrupt board of directors without any penal action but R.B.I. will be forced to lift all restriction under bank regulation act 1949 section and will give liberty under section 62-E of maharashtra co-op. societies act-1960.”Tiwari said.

“This is purely waste of tax payer money to save corrupt directors of DCCB nanded as they are close to Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and NCP Chief Sharad Pawar “the above act of misusing the power of chief minister is violation of constitutional duties of chief minister and illegal and if Maharashtra Governor S.C.Jamir and Lokayukta failed to give the urgent relief then we will move the writ in Mumbai high court as matter of public interest litigation”Tiwati informed.

Villain of Vidarbha Farmers' Suicides

Villain of Vidarbha Farmers' Suicides

Dr. Ashwani Mahajan
Menace of farmers’ suicides has turned into a calamity in the last two decades. For obvious reasons government tries to underestimate the number. But according to a rough estimate more than one lakh farmers have committed suicide so far. News of farmers’ suicides comes from all over the country but situation in Vidarbha has taken the form of an epidemic and on an average 3 farmers commit suicide per day. According to government records between January 2001 and November 2005, 3715 farmers had committed suicide. So far government has constituted 7 committees and panels to study about the problems and recommend remedial measures. Apart from the committees and panels constituted by the government, 46 universities and other institutes have also submitted their reports about the causes and remedies of the menace.

Counts of Vidarbha suicides

It is understandable that the government tries to save itself from bad name by underestimating crimes like theft, burglary, murders etc. They do the same for underestimating farmers’ suicides too. Although between 2001 and 2006, suicide toll was 15980 in 6 districts of Vidarbha but the government recognised only 1290 suicides as farmers’ suicides. Government is authorised to recognise or otherwise, a suicide as farmers suicide. This act of government underestimating the farmers’ suicides deprives the affected families from the relief amount distributed by the government machinery.
Studies made under pressure

It seems from the events that but for court intervention government had no interest in instituting enquiries or studies to look into the issue of farmers’ suicides. At first, Bombay High Court pulled the government of Maharashtra and as a result it asked Tata Institute of Social studies to submit a report on the issue. Institute did submit the report but nothing was heard from the government after that. Later Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Studies was entrusted with the similar job but perhaps its report again was left to eat dust on the shelves. In October 2005, Prime Minister asked Chairman of National Farmers Commission Dr. M.S. Swaminathan to visit Vidarbha and submit a report .But this exercise also met the fate of earlier reports. In March 2006, Planning Committee constituted a team under the chairmanship of Adarsh Mishra which submitted its report with no action taken again.

In view of this hush-bush exercise, Bombay High Court directed Government of Maharashtra to undertake a comprehensive survey. Survey was undertaken covering 8560 villages and 20 lakh farmer families. The report revealed that 2 million farmers are under strain and another 4 million are under deep distress.

After these revelations Prime Minister visited Vidarbha during June-July 2006 and released Rupees 3750 crores of relief amount but the farmers’ suicides continued unabated. Government of Maharashtra constituted yet another committee to put salt on the wounds. Government sources claim that waiving off of farmers’ loan by the government, as announced in the Union Budget 2008-09, would help check the problem. But experts opine that this is not going to serve the purpose as farmers committing suicides are mostly those who have borrowed from unorganised sources.

Farmer’s indebtedness

It is obvious that one commits suicide under deep distress. This distress stems from crop failure and inability to repay the loan already taken and also the inability to get their family members treated in wake of serious illness. This point is clear from the reports of various committees and panels constituted for this purpose. According to 59th Round of National Sample Survey Organisations (NSSO) data, major cause of farmers’ indebtedness is loan taken for farm related expenditure (60%) and loan taken for the treatment of their family members (20%). Aftermath of extensive Survey due to court’s intervention when S.K. Goel , Commissioner of Amravati , revealed that 20 lakh farmers are under stain and 40 lakh under deep distress, he was very obviously transferred.
Root cause of the problem

This is amply clear that a farmer commits suicide due to his inability to repay his loans. Crop failure accentuates this problem. But the question is why Vidarbha farmers were not committing suicide earlier. If we go deep into this we find that Vidarbha land is most suitable for cotton farming. Earlier farmers used to earn heavily from cotton farming. Data shows that one quintal of cotton was equivalent to 12 grams of gold 20 years back. A Farmer used to grow food grains just for self consumption and by selling cotton; he used to add to his riches. Cotton used to be called white gold. Today he gets merely rupees 1750 per quintal of cotton and in the last 10 years, prices of fertilizers, pesticides and other agricultural inputs have multiplied by 4 to 6 times.

Why cotton prices didn’t increase along with the cost of production? Reason is simple, international price of cotton has declined from $ 1.10 in 1994 to nearly 50 cents now. Government of India reduced import duty on cotton to just 10% under pressure from WTO. How come cotton has become so cheap in international market? Whereas cost of cotton growing is around US$ 1.70 per kilogram in America and a farmer gets subsidy from the government to the extent of US$1.5 to 2.0 per kilogram. Due to this heavy subsidy U.S. farmers are able to export cotton at a much lower price; this is the root cause of Vidarbha farmers’ devastation.

This problem is not limited to Vidarbha only. Farmers from all over the country especially Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh are also committing suicides. Constantly rising input cost and non-remunerative prices compel them to end their lives. Again farmers’ devastation is not limited to India, farmers of most of the developing countries are getting ruined due to heavy subsidies being given by U.S. and some other developed countries. This is one of the basic reasons why Agreement on Agriculture (AOA) could not be finalised in WTO. Some cotton growing African countries are opposing any new WTO agreements tooth and nail.

Government has to understand that foreign trade can not to be more important than farmers’ lives. In fact security of the farmer can only ensure prosperity.
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Drought-hit Vidarbha prays for rain-NDTV reports

Drought-hit Vidarbha prays for rain
Sanjay Tiwari, Monday August 10, 2009, Yavatmal District, Maharashtra

http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/drought-hit_vidarbha_prays_for_rain.php

There are many regions in the country, parts of states, which are in the midst of a terrible drought - like Vidarbha in north western Maharashtra.

The region is already stricken with extreme poverty and farmer suicides, and with no rainfall this year, the farmers are desperate and will need government help.

"We are asking for water. It's difficult to survive, painful to visit farms and watch crops dry," said a farmer.

Praying is all the farmers can do. There's no water for the cattle. The lakes and reservoirs are dry, and the crops are dying.

"This crop should have grown chest high with grains. In another 15 days, it should have been ready for harvest," said a farm activist.

A drought-like situation is declared in all 16 tehsils of Yavatmal. The district has not even received half the rains it did last year. The ground water has also receded a few more metres.

"Real relief is not coming. Here the farmers need fodder, they need food security, they need at least an alternate crop if the rain comes," said Kishor Tiwari, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti.

More than the 'much below average' rainfall, it is the failure of the administration to provide immediate relief that has hit the farmers hard.

NDTV met desperate farmers, who have encroached the moist bed of drying lake, and planted cotton, that might not survive.

Yavatmal is part of Vidarbha, a region that sees maximum number of farmer suicides in the country.

Farmers are battling an endless cycle of debts, crop failures and poverty, desperately hoping that the 'Rain God' will answer their prayers.


Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh's Independence Day Speech is Eyewash -VJAS



Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh's Independence Day Speech is Eyewash -VJAS

Nagpur- Aug 15 2009

Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh Independence Day message that India had self faith, political stability and economic strength to march towards “a golden future” is far away from the ground reality being faced by rural India. Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti has termed his speech as eyewash by exposing truth and ground reality. Here are the main highlights of his speech delivered on the occasion of India's 63rd Independence Day on Saturday and VJAS comments on it:

1-No one will go Hungry

In India after 62 year of independence if Prime Minister Independence Day message talks about poverty and hunger then truth of its economic strength is truly reflected here. now India ranking just to bottom of the list most venerable countries facing starvation ,poverty hunger lacking basic facilities of food security and health care to 60% of it’s population

2-That every citizen of India is prosperous and secure and is able to lead a life of Dignity and Self Respect.

This is most ridiculous part of speech as majority of citizen are backward and unsecured and A Life of Dignity and Self Respect” is insult of billion of poor who are dying without food and health care ,those million of distress farmers killing them self and tribal dying due to malnutrition and starvation those who draft the speech, if they know the condition of Indian rural crisis then he should have realized what nonsense he is talking about.

3-Restoring our growth rate to nine percent is the greatest challenge we face. We expect that there will be an improvement in the situation by the end of this year.

Here is the admission of retardation of growth rate by Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh and optimism of it’s improvement without making broad base policy changes ,it’s impossible recent agreement is pure sellout by Indian Govt by compromising economic interest of rural masses..

4-Appeal to businessmen and industrialists to join in effort to tackle difficult situation and fulfill their social obligation.

This is another futile attempt to Appeal to businessmen and industrialists to join in effort to tackle difficult situation and fulfill their social obligation after 62 years social exploitation when you are opening gates of economy to same bloodsuckers of 95% Indian population.

5-PM warns hoarders and black-marketers

This is also warning UPA partners who are controlling food supply of India and the same time running the commodities exchanges to stipulate the prices when the fact is known to that present price rice is artificial.

6-This year there has been deficiency in the monsoons. We will provide all possible assistance to our farmers to deal with the drought.

Drought hit farmers are daily committing suicide but your so called relief is not coming. It was the PMO who predicted normal monsoon after delayed arrival ,now you are contradicting the same.

7-Date for repayment of farmers’ bank loans postponed. Additional support given to farmers for payment of interest on short term crop loans.

Loan waiver has been failed to provide the fresh credit to the farmers as more than 50% amount OTS is till not reconstructed hence crop loan disbursement has been worst hit even after the mega loan waiver.

8-We have adequate stocks of food grains. All efforts will be made to control rising prices of food grains, pulses and other goods of daily use.

In fact PMO should inform these to Indian food supply minister who is creating panic in the country and efforts to control rising prices of food grains, pulses and other goods of daily use. Are not visible in rural India

9-Country needs another Green Revolution, the goal is four percent annual growth in agriculture. Achievable in the next 5 years.

The 1,84,000 (one lac and eighty four thousand) farmers suicide is result of First green revolution and it’s only reason of Indian agrarian crisis hence now when your Govt. is giving bailout packages to farmers ,your signal of another Green Revolution is clear signal mega entry of MNCs who are having monopoly seed, fertilizer and pesticide ,this is true commitment to WTO, World Bank and US Govt.

10-Food security law under which every below poverty line family will get a fixed amount of food grains every month at concessional rates.

Yes, billion of poor needs food security but all the time the poor excluded from the list of BPL and allowing issue of the starvation and huger alive .we need universal PDS and food security but food security act will not cover the most venerable .

11-Special care to be taken of needs of women and children. To extend the benefit of ICDS to every child below the age of six years by March 2012.

It is matter of national shame that parent scheme of providing special care to poor women and children titled ICDS is temporary and being run with the aid of World Bank-UN and announcement of it’s extension is matter of hostile approach toward welfare of women and children as ICDS being run on ad-voc basis the staff of Anangwadi and Balwadi is purely temporary and we need very professionally managed ICDS with planed outlay

12-NREGA program to be improved to bring more transparency and accountability in to it.

NREGA has failed to provide employments to in rural India in most of state and Man days of work shown by states is clear indication of it’s failure and review of NREGA is national need but we are till awaiting the central decision to dot that.

13-Right to Education Act enacted, funds will not be a constraint.

14-Secondary education will be expanded through a program that will ensure that every child in the country gets its benefit.

15-Will provide bank loans and scholarships to the maximum possible number of students to support their education.

16-New scheme to help students from economically weaker sections get education loans at reduced interest rates. Will benefit about five lakh students in technical and professional courses.

When education has been privatize from primary to university level and it has been very big industry of UPA leaders earning. Right to Education Act is mockery of education when UPA Govt. is giving license to open private universities without being regulated at any level and corrupt elements in apex court has allowed to raise fees of these private colleges without any upper limit and now it’s certain that poor can’t take good education as he has no money to pay heavy fees charged by these private schools and colleges where standard of education in Govt. run schools and colleges to poor to explain.

There is need to nationalize all private colleges run by UPA leaders and reduce the fees then there will no need to take bank loan and scholarship as welfare schemes of students are for rehabilitation of congress leaders.

17-We will give special attention to the needs of disabled children.

Let us hope that UPA Govt. under stand the need of special attention to all not only disabled children.

18-The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to be expanded to cover every family below the poverty line.

India needs Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to everybody as very costly private health care is making poor to everybody hence regulator to health services is need of hour and proper function of NRHM is must.

19-India will meet the challenge of climate change through eight National Missions,

New culture of energy conservation, programs for water collection and storage and "Save Water" should be one of our national slogans.

Govt.of India should come out with white paper on degradation forest in last 10 years and failure of all water conservation and rain water harvesting programmes in drought prone area of India and massive corruption .PMO should order all pending C.B.I. enquiries files related to illegal cutting of forest and corruption in environment and water related project in order to start save water movement from PMO.

20-Working on a legislation to provide 50 percent reservation for women in rural and urban local bodies.

First make legislation for parliament and assemblies then in rural and urban local bodies.

21-Will take care of the special needs of the backward regions with redoubled efforts to remove regional imbalances.

Vidarbha agrarian crisis is the result of regional imbalances and remedy as per recent reports of planning commission and CAG is separate state of vidarbha ,please arrange to do it.

22-Benefit of good programs will not reach the people till the government machinery is not corruption free. Public administration to be more efficient.

To make Government machinery corruption free and public administration to be more efficient, UPA needs non-corrupt ministers hence please remove corrupt ministers to achieve this .

23-Nation building will be our Highest Duty

Yes we all are with you most respected prime minister for Nation Building

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Vidarbha Drought Crisis- Times of India Reports

Vidarbha Drought Crisis- Times of India Reports

here is Times of India exclusive news item oublished on 12th august 2009 regarding ground reality of west vidarbha drought condition reported by Ramu Bhagwat

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vidarbha Agrarian Crisis-Drought update -Time of India

Stress levels rise in the suicide belt

VIDARBHA: 3M HECTARES OF COTTON, SOYA & JOWAR CROPS FACE THE HEAT

Ramu Bhagwat | TNN


Yavatmal: Nature has once again turned against Vidarbha, the most backward region of Maharashtra, where an overwhelming majority of farmers depend on rain gods.
The standing crop of cotton, soyabean and jowar in some three million hectares is fast wilting as the region has received little or no rain in the last three weeks. Paddy cultivation has also been severely hit in eastern parts of the region.
A dry spell in the middle of the kharif season has left farmers despondent. The jowar crop is already lost, soyabean has suffered 60% damage and even the cotton crop is facing the heat.
The region’s main farming season had a faltering start as monsoon arrived late almost by a month. But once it started raining from June-end farmers ex
pected the season to proceed smoothly. By early July sowing operations were complete. Even in the beginning of July it rained well and the seeds germinated, giving the fields a lush green look . It was not to last. The rain stopped as suddenly as it began. Now, the prolonged dry spell has left the standing crop high and dry. With irrigation facilities abysmally poor in these parts, the dependence on rain is total. The situation is worse in Yavatmal district, the epicentre of farmers suicide crisis. “We are staring at an unprecedented drought. The water level in major dams has come down to 34% while the reservoirs and catchment areas have dried up,” said social activist Vilas Wankhede. His worst fear is that the drought will now lead to a spurt in crime. “Incidents of robberies, thefts and house-breaking are on the rise in this otherwise peaceful city. In some cases the involvement of rural youths has surfaced,” added Wankhede.
“The farmers are having sleepless nights as they have no fodder or water for the cattle. Distress sale of cattle has begun. At the Sunday weekly market at Pandharkawda 450 cows and 200 buffaloes were brought and were being sold at throwaway prices,” said Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti.
BIG, MEDIUM OR MARGINAL, ALL VIDARBHA FARMERS ARE ON EDGE

VIJAY TIWARI Land Holding | 30 acres Side Business | None Family Size | 12 members Income | Rs 2 lakh PA
Bhandara: Vijay Tiwari, a large-scale farmer of Tudka village, is a worried man. His first paddy crop has been completely destroyed due to scanty rains. Now, he is going in for a second sowing in spite of the fact that it has not rained in the area in the
last 15 days.
By the villagers’ standards, Tiwari is a ‘rich’ man. He and his two brothers own 30 acres of land in an area where most families have holdings that are only four to five acres.
However, this year the rain gods have Tiwari as worried as his less affluent neighbours. Tiwari told TOI that he had already lost Rs 20,000 in the first sowing. “When the rains stopped I used the water from my tank to keep the saplings alive but then the tank dried up. I then started drawing water from the nearby stream. Now, the stream too is drying up and if it does not rain in another four to five days, thousands will go down the tube again. And I can’t afford that.”


DIPAK KATRE Land Holding | 15 acres Side Business | None Family Size | 9 members Income | Rs 1.10 lakh PA
Nagpur: Dipak Katre doesn’t know if he took the right decision. Due to scanty rainfall he delayed the sowing of paddy, unlike most farmers of Gondia district who started sowing in late June or early July. Then, some 20 days ago, it rained cats and dogs and
he decided to go for it. However, the next day it did not rain at all and he changed his mind. He decided that he would sow when it rained regularly. However, it never did. He finally decided to use groundwater for sowing.
The farmer fervently hopes that it rains in a few days or he would lose all his money. “This year we are witnessing the worst drought. Even our grandfathers don’t remember such a catastrophe,” he says.
Katre said the government had decided to not provide the three-phase power supply needed for farm pumps if it does not rain till August 15. “They say water will have to be conserved for drinking till July next year. But I will be ruined.” ASHISH ROY


Drought fears stalk Indian farmers

NEW DELHI (AFP) – In vast parched swathes of rural India, farmers are eyeing their bone-dry fields with despair as they face the grim prospect of drought.

The so-called "rain deficit" or shortfall from the monsoon, which sweeps across the subcontinent from June to September, stands at an average 25 percent so far and many farmers say their crops are going to fail.

"Almost 80 percent of the country is under the threat of drought due to a shortage of rainfall," Food Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters this week with rice, a key staple, and sugar among the worst-hit crops.

Monsoon rains for the past week were 64 percent below average.

The monsoon is dubbed an "economic lifeline" in a country of nearly 1.2 billion people that is one of the world's leading producers of rice, wheat and sugar.

With only 40 percent of arable land under irrigation, India's 235 million farmers rely on the annual rains to soak the rock-hard earth and turn it into fertile soil.

"There's no doubt agricultural growth is going to be hit," Dharmakirti Joshi, principal economist at India's leading credit rating agency, Crisil, told AFP.

"Many poor states are extremely vulnerable, they're in a very precarious position," he said, adding the rains could be the weakest since 2002.

On Monday, Bihar, India's poorest and second-most populous state and a major rice producer, declared 26 out of its 40 districts were hit by drought.

"We have not even been able to start sowing," one farmer in eastern Bihar state told India's NDTV network, standing on cracked, barren ground that normally should have been a brilliant green paddy field.

Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state and a leading sugar producer, has declared drought in 47 out of its 71 districts.

Global sugar prices are at their highest level in 28 years due to bad weather that is hurting output in India and Brazil.

The stagnant farm sector's contribution to India's gross domestic product is just 16.6 percent, down from 50 percent in the 1950s.

But agriculture is still vital as it supports about 700 million of India's population who live in the countryside and fuels consumer demand for everything from TVs and refrigerators to motorcycles and gold.

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on the weekend the government would seek to ensure no citizen goes hungry.

"We are in a position to ensure adequate availability of foodgrains in drought-affected areas," he said, thanks to bumper crops in the past two years.

"In no case should we allow citizens to go hungry," Singh said, promising strong action against "hoarders and black marketeers."

But food, earmarked by the government under ration schemes for India's poorest, is often stolen by corrupt officials and sold on the open market.

And food price inflation, already soaring before the monsoon, has been pushed higher by the meagre rainfall, hitting India's poor masses hardest.

"The lower the income category, the more of their total income they spend on food," said Crisil's Joshi. "The more food prices rise, the more it hurts the 'common man.'"

"Primary product prices have begun to spiral," said Citi economist Rohini Malkani, noting a 19 percent year-on-year jump in the price of pulses, a 15.5 percent leap in the cost of rice and similar rises for fruits and vegetables.

More is riding on this monsoon than just the summer crop.

An abundant monsoon is necessary to ensure good moisture conditions for the next winter wheat crop, which is sown in November and harvested in March.

The truant monsoon has come as India's economy shows tentative signs of recovery after being slowed by the global financial crisis.

While economists believe agricultural growth could contract this year, many believe stronger industrial output will counter the fickle rains.

The poor monsoon could be offset by the "improvement in industrial activity, continued focus on infrastructure" and a government budget that targeted help for the poor, said Macquarie Securities economist Rajeev Malik.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

CSE condemns industry inclusion in apex food regulatory body

Will lead to a severe conflict of interest

New Delhi, August 7, 2009: The Centre for Science and Environment strongly condemns the shocking development in the newly set up Food Safety and Standards Authority of India which has inducted as members in its top scientific panels representatives from the industry which it seeks to regulate. Set up under the Food Safety Act, 2006 the Authority will be the apex and one and only food regulatory body in the country. In a clear case of conflict of interest and industry lobbying, employees of many big food businesses have managed to sneak into the top scientific committees and panels of the authority. These include employees of Coca Cola India, Pespico, Hindustan Unilever, Marico Limited, Britannia Industries, ITC limited, Nestle India, Hind Agro Industries Limited and GSK Consumer Healthcare Limited. Intrusion of industry into the top scientific food regulatory body will destroy its credibility.

In 2003 and 2006 CSE had released its findings on pesticide residues in bottled water and soft drinks. CSE had found that food safety in India was completely compromised and that regulations were non-existent or poor. In 2004 the Joint Parliamentary Committee had taken cognizance of CSE’s findings on alarming food safety situation in the country and had asked for a complete revamp of regulations. It was after this that the Food Safety Act was passed and the authority set up under it. “But by including industry in its scientific panels the recently constituted Authority has lost all credibility and food safety will be further compromised,” said Sunita Narain, director, CSE.

When CSE had released its findings of dangerous levels of pesticides in soft drinks sold in the market, intense debate had followed on the issues of food sampling, analysis and food additives and processing. What is shocking is that soft drink company representatives have been made members of scientific panels dealing with these very issues. A general manager of Coca Cola India is a member in the “Scientific panel for method of sampling and analysis”. Another general manager from Coca Cola and a Vice-president of Pepsico are members of “Scientific Panel for food additives, flavourings, processing aids and materials in contact with food”. Representatives from Britannia and ITC limited are member of the “Scientific Panel for pesticides and antibiotic residues”.

Most of the representatives of the industry are managers or from managerial positions. It is shocking that managers and those on managerial positions have been inducted into these highly technical and scientific panels. “The Authority is completely compromised. It might as well be buried before it is born as it has hired out its swanky new offices to the industry,” Narain said.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Drought Prone Condition in Vidarbha –Cotton-Soyabean-Paddy Crop over 3.2.Million Hector is in Danger


Nagpur, Aug.4,2009

Earlier delayed monsoon arrival and irregular showers in June and 15 days dry spell as there is no rain in most of part of vidarbha has created serious panic in more than 3 million farmers as if there are no showers in next seven days then there will server drought this year ,drought prone condition has increased despair and gloom allover vidarbha as cotton-soyabean-paddy crop over 3.2.million hector is in danger , Mohan Jadhav secretary of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti informed in press note today.

VJAS team after touring vidarbha in a memorandum to chief minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan urged to act on dought prone condition of vidarbha as farmers complain despite their prevailing condition there has been no help forthcoming from Government.

Soyabean farmers in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra are most effected due to dual nature of hardship as complete soyabean in vidarbha under 1.6 million hector has been attacked by semilooper pests. farmers already spent huge amount of money on semilooper pest management but it has destroyed soyabean plants at massive scale but administration aid is till awaited .VJAS urged chief minister to arrange requisite help to dying soyabean growers of vidarbha..

This year in vidarbha record 2 million hector area is under Bt.cotton cultivation which required assured rain and intensive care for harvesting and sudden climate change after dry spell of 15 days ,there is massive attack of mealy bug on cotton crop coupled with root rot disease damaging the standing cotton crop beyond repair ,this has increased input cost of cultivation to large extent and will drop down the yield too, memorandum added.

“Vidarbha farmers are facing very difficult time not only due to first delayed monsoon and now no rain and massive attack of pest and mealy bug but severe shortage of urea and fertilizer black-marketing is adding fuel their hardship. vidarbha farmers needs food security and health care to avoid distress being converted into extremity of suicide as recommended by Prof.Narendra Jadhav Committee ReportKishore Tiwari urged the administration.

“All political leaders are election mood which due in October but nobody is looking serious issue of dying farmers if this dry spell is continued then not only all standing crops will be damaged 100% but there will be big problem of drinking water and fodder to cattle. it’s high time for Govt. to act” Mohan Jadhav secretary of VJAS added in press note .

Sunday, August 2, 2009

GM Seed is killer seed of vidarbha cotton farmers-VJAS

GM Seed is killer seed of vidarbha cotton farmers-VJAS

Nagpur-2nd August 2009

Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti(VJAS) has been working as watchdog to follow the on going agrarian crisis and cotton farmers suicides since 1997 and has been raising the farm suicides issue at all redressal forum in India and world.

VJAS is official litigant in Mumbai High Court, NHRC-Humam Right Commission both at state and national level and we have been documenting the all most all cotton farmers suicides in west vidarbha since June 2005 hence we have legitimate morality to talk with proper authority to support this serious allegation that GM seed has been one of major cause of cotton farmers suicides after the official commercial trials of Bt.cotton was permitted in June 2005 .

In the year the 2005 Monsanto American company was allowed to sale Bt.coton seed at the price fixed by company and was officially marketed by state own seed corporation MAHABEEJ,Union Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar toured vidarbha in June 2005 to promote Bt.cotton seed along with his counter part Agriculture Minister of Maharashtra Balasaheb Throat.VJAS had raised objections on the controversial commercial trials of Bt.cotton cultivation in dry land area of west vidarbha and rates fixed by Monsanto as total Bt. Cotton failed in year 2005 in west vidarbha due attack of lalya disease and Govt. of Maharashtra compensated the damages as failure of Bt.cotton that triggered mass farmers suicides in octobner-2005 and in December 2005 Maharashtra Govt. officially admitted that more than 1000 cotton farmers suicides west vidarbha due Bt.cotton failure and declared Rs.1070 crore relief package but the financial losses and economic damages to cotton farmers were too huge to stop take extreme step of suicide and that started spiral of cotton farmers suicides which is till continue and the series of relief packages to the cotton farmers are also continue but as on today all efforts are futile and resultless but VJAS wants to discuss some of facts Bt.cotton cultivation in west vidarbha which are

1.At present area under bt.cotton cultivation is almost 2 million hector which was only 4 lacs hector in 2005.ther is established monopoly of American company Monsanto and farmer in west vidarbha has no option to buy BT.cotton seed at the rate fixed by this MNC.

2.Cotton farmers general opinion is that Monsanto BT.cotton assured irrigated land yield of this cotton is optimum but in dry land cultivation it’s loss making crop in fact Monsanto is also not recommending the cultivation of Bt.cotton till they are marketing in the west vidarbha where 98% land is non-irrigated and dry land .

3.As per official record consumption of pesticide and fertilizer has drastically increased in this area where bt.cotton is cultivated. Pesticide and fertilizer are forcibly recommended by GM seed company and most of time recommended pesticide and fertilizer names are printed on Bt.cotton seed pocket.

4.As per official data the cotton production after introduction of bt.cotton cultivation since 2005 onward has been gradually decreased .

5.Number farm suicides in west vidarbha is more than 1200 every year 100 or 200 more or less and distress level and debt crisis is till very critical.

6.Now there is monopoly of American mncs in the input and output produce and cotton farmer of vidarbha are working like slaves on their filed.

7.Niether economic condition of cotton farmer has changed even though Indian Govt. Has pumped more than Rs.16,000 crores for 2 million farmers but it failed to address the issue of farm suicides and agrarian crisis.

VJAS has been demanding the complete ban on monopoly input items of MNC which are seed ,pesticide and fertilizer and ban on subsidized US raw cotton trade to Indian textile industry but Govt. failed to take these corrective steps hence cotton farmers suicides are till continue in vidarbha. Everybody knows Union Minister Sharda Pawar has wasted interest in these American companies and we have made these allegations along with all earlier allegation against these MNCs in our various petitions on affidavit with all set of documents to stop their Indian operation as suicides of vidarbha cotton farmers are not suicides these are mass genocides done by these MNCs and minister like sharda pawar are co-accused .

VJAS has track of all Bt. Cotton growers in vidarbha who has cultivated this killer GM seed and then committed suicide due to huge losses in the cultivation or crop failure due to basically dry land farming not suited for this highly sensitive Bt.cotton seed.

Thousands of tribals and deprived class cotton farmers have already become innocent victim of this BT.cotton seed which popularly known as killer seed in this year.

Now issue of toxicity of Bt.cotton is much more discussed as in west vidarbha after June 2005 after commercial trials of Bt.cottton started the public health crisis has matter of concern ,there are new virus like chikun gunia has done massive damage now cancer is one killer disease reported in this area where as mealy bug has already spread all over forest of vidarbha and only time will tell us damage being done by this mealy bug gifted Monsanto .

VJAS is purely activist group not NGO and we are not taking any fund from any agency or company hence we are not having any wasted interest in this American Monsanto bt.cotton seed controversy but in fact vertical and horizontal monopoly of thses MNCs which is killing thousands of innocent cotton farmers of vidarbha is truth and time will prove this ,may GOD save vidarbha cotton farmers.

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