Archive for the ‘struggle’ Category

Distressed Maharashtra Cotton Farmers Demand Fresh Credit

VIDARBHA JAN ANDOLAN SAMITI –

REGD. OFFICE: 11, TRISARAN SOCIETY, KHAMALA, NAGPUR – 440 025.
PH. 2282447/457 MOBILE-9422108846. vidarbha@gmail.com

REF: – FARMER’S SUICIDES
DATED-18th June, 2007

Ø HUNDERES OF FARMERS STARTED DHARANA AGITATION BEFORE BANK FOR FRESH CROP A S BANKS REFUSED TO GIVE FRESH  CREDIT TO  FARMERS IN VIDARBHA .
MOHAN DHARIA SUPPORT VIDARBHA FARMERS LOAN WAIVER STIR
NAGPUR-18th June 2007

HUNDREDS  OF FARMERS STARTED AGITATION FOR FRESH CROP LOAN

The reported decision of NABARD that “The decline in credit allocation targets is surprising in the context of Centre’s directives to banks to double flow of credit to the agriculture sector in three years starting 2004-05,” VJAS leader kishor tiwari informed .vidarbha farmers wills strongly protest and we will not only restore credit outlay to Rs.3, 300 crore but will have loan waiver too, kishor tiwari added.

Hundreds  farmers of Yavatmal distt. started DHARANA AGITATION before Central Bank of India  Pandharkawada Branch in Yavatmal District demanding fresh crop loan to every defaulter farmers will over due loan waiver,Kishor Tiwari said.

It is complete injustice with west dying cotton farmers as most of the growth in priority sector lending has gone to districts in Western Maharashtra and Marathwada, largely due to SHARAD PAWAR NCP base regions as compared to Vidarbha. For instance, Pune gets a 91% rise in its credit allocation target. NABARD is acting against the   agriculture sector plan for six districts of Vidarbha was prepared based on the last three years’ trend though an upward revision of Rs 1,275 crore was made specially under the PM’s relief package during 2006-07.
“The PM’s package, among other factors, rightly appreciated lack of an extensive network of formal credit in Vidarbha as one of the root causes of suicides. Cutting down on credit allocations for this reason amounts to punishing Vidarbha for being chosen for the PM’s package, now cotton farmers are left at mercy of private money Leander inviting more farm suicides.

Now time has come for separating vidarbha state from maharashtra due complete contrast in fiscal condition and increasing backlog of region and we will press this demand in future too if we are being neglected and forced to kill ourselves ,kishor tiwari added.

CREDIT IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF RECENT SUICIDES
As bankers have stopped giving fresh crop loan and drop down the credit facility by 40% as per NABARD order ,debt starved cotton farmers are killing themselves, Kishor Tiwati Vidarbha Jan adndolan Samiti informed today.

When Indian finance minister submitted his annual budget for year 2007-08, it was warmly welcomed as “agriculture budget” but in result as per order of NABARD bankers association has taken decision to suddenly drop down the credit outlay for vidarbha cotton farmers .as reported the credit bonanza for farmers in Vidarbha seems to be over. After aggressive lending in the previous fiscal, the credit allocation targets set under the annual credit plan for 2007-08 for six districts of Vidarbha show a steep decline. Incidentally, these are the districts that have been reporting maximum farm suicides and where farmers’ dependence on illegal money-lenders has been one of the root causes .

Credit lending targets for six districts have been revised downwards compared to last year, as per recent decision of bankers association. In 2005-06 fiscal, banks disbursed credit of Rs 765 crore in six districts. But thanks to the PM’s package, the crop credit shot up to Rs 2,033 crore in the last fiscal. The current plan, however, allocates only Rs 1,683 crore for crop credit For instance, Yavatmal district, which has reported maximum suicides, has been earmarked a target of only Rs 434.96 crore which is almost a 30% decline from its 2006-07 target. Washim district shows a decline of 41%, Akola 36%, and Buldhana 38%, against the previous fiscal’s targets. District credit plans have been finalised on the basis of broad guidelines prepared by NABARD.

MOHAN DHARIA SUPPORT VIDARBHA FARMERS LOAN WAIVER STIR
veteran Gandhian leader mohan dharia has in letter to VJAS  supported vidarbha Cotton farmers stir for fresh credit and complete loan waiver in fact he was indefinite fast last year and Maharashtra govt. promised to fulfill is demands but then back out.VJAS leader has announced that next step of agitation will be held before bank of maharashtra patan branch on 2nd july 2007, release added.

Kishor Tiwari
President
Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti
Email : vidarbha@gmail.com
Contact – 094221 08846

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(THIS IS TRANSLATION OF LETTER OF ONE OF WIDOWS HAS WRITTEN TO INDIAN PRIME MINISTER FOR HELP)
To,
Dr. Man Mohan Singh,
Indian Prime Minister, Government of India
New Delhi-1100011

REF : YOUR HEALING TOUCH TO VIDARBHA FARM WIDOWS IS MISSING
SUB : PLEASE ARRANGE TO SAVE VIDARBHA FARM WIDOWS

Respected sir,

1. My husband Shivaji Betwar of Kelapur in Yavatmal district, Maharashtra, had killed himself by hanging to tree in August of last year after your announcement of package and you specially asked District Collector to give healing touch to farm widows of west Vidarbha.
Please see this photo below :

He was a cotton farmer, and he was forced to commit suicide as local bankers Bank of Maharashtra, Pahapal branch had failed to give him crop loan even though he was not defaulter.
2. Then since after the his sad death, I was told by local administration that as per promise made by you, the relief aid will be given to me as I have two small kids one age 4 and other age 7. After the death of my husband, nobody is there to look after me here at my in laws place. Nobody is there to look after our land too.
3. To day local Tahsildar has told me that Yavatmal District Collector has rejected my case as there was no crop loan, against by husband’s name when he committed suicide. It was matter of surprise that when local bank has not given us loan and credit crunch has been reason of distress to commit suicide, I am being refused the compensation.
4. In order to avoid my kid’s starvation, I went back to my mother’s place in Andhra Pradesh mandal Besa in Adilabad district. But it was very difficult for them to feed my family as my brother is farm labor and I was forced to return back to dead husband’s place in Maharashtra.
PRAYER :
Dear Prime Minister, it has been very difficult to live in these pathetic condition where as babus in local administration have not giving any help to me, I am writing to you that after your Vidarbha visit more than 1000 Farm Widows compensation claims have been rejected, in order to show the effect of your package, that suicides have declined, and we are innocent victims of your administrative politics.
You are kindly requested to save my small kids and help me.
Yours sincerely,
MANGALA SHIVAJI BETWAR

The readers of a leading German ( Deutsche )news paper, “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” have given relief aid to Vidarbha Farm Widows.
They were moved by Karin Steinberger’s article based on the struggle of farm widows, after the suicide of their farmer husbands, when local Maharashtra govt. turned blind eye towards the plights of these widows.
This amount was collected by news paper “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” was transferred to INDENHILFE, an NGO working for the Indian people.
Their Kolkatta base office is arranging a function for Relief Aid disbursement at Pandharkawada in Yavatmal district of Vidarbha, Maharashtra in India on 17th March. INDIENHILIFE office in charge, Kumar Roy and Shibani Bhattacharya have been touring in rural part of Vidarbha to identify the widows who are working hard to save the surviving family, from agrarian crisis.

Karin Steinberger, is with the German news paper, “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” since 2000, writing features from all over the world, but most of stories are from rural parts of India. This article was based on the hardships faced by Farm Widows of Vidarbha and their “struggle to remain live“, without any meaningful and coordinated government aid.
It was published in 2006, and the article has been read by the thousand of readers in Germany, but relief aid programme, has just coincidently matched with the timing when one of Indian media, TV news channels, has been running a premeditated campaign, to run fabricated stories of Farm widows and has been evoking very strong response from Vidarbha and all over the world.

This German relief aid distribution programme, will boost morale of these farm widows, at last, after the sheer apathy of local Congress and NCP government, and top local bureaucrats of Maharashtra, who are more interested in book keeping and making media statements, debating the reasons for farm suicides in cotton belt of Vidarbha.