Do we realize that – during the last 20 years, nearly 300,000 Indian farmers have ended their lives by ingesting pesticides or by hanging themselves. Infact, Maharashtra state – with 60,000 farmer suicides – tops the list. Shocking…isn’t it?
It is not just the long droughts, poor yields, and unseasonal rains that contributes to their struggles but also the volatile investments in the agri-business from banks, money lenders create a debt-trap for the farmers; who just rely on the crop success and God’s mercy for the loan repayments. Farmers play a pivotal role in meeting our most basic need of FOOD. If we, our society and the governing authorities will keep ignoring their plight then it is just going to mark the beginning of a ‘man-made epidemic’.
A 72-year-old farmer from Punjab, whose younger brother committed suicide last year says that, “I think the problems for farmers are same across the country. Many times my entire crop has been damaged but I have never received any compensation from the government. Ninety percent of India’s farmers are committing suicide because of debt. They take-out loans but are hardly able to repay them. Now this new land-grab bill will make their problems worse.”
Such incidents are not restricted to India….it even takes place in the advanced economies such as the USA. John Oliver explains how the poultry farming business in the USA is unfair, punishing, and inhumane; the worst farming conditions and minimum wages to the farmers leads to cases of suicides. Can’t we do anything about it?
Watch this video that powerfully brings out the farmer misery in the United States and action steps to minimize such incidents!
Do let us know your thoughts on the topic? What do you feel can be done – either in India or in USA or anywhere else in the world, to reduce the chances of such suicidal cases?