Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Worried about food security?Take a look at this website.

Mind blowing isn't it? A blog that actually tracks the number of farmers who are committing suicides in Vidarbha.

Quoting from Wikipedia, There are more than 32,000 farmers suicides in Maharashtra in a decade, of which 70% being in the 11 districts of Vidarbha region . Mind you, these are the reported cases.

The reasons of suicide are mainly high debts, crop failure due to drought and the policies of our government.

The aid provided by our government, is squandered as demonstrated by this article.

Quoting from the article:

The PIL alleged of 10,637 families, only 2,924 families were deserving of aid and that farmers with political links had gained from the package.

The funds were meant for families of farmers who had committed suicide, farmers who fall below the poverty line and to landless labourers.

The petition alleged that the financial package, announced by the PM in June 2006, never really reached the real beneficiaries. The aid was illegally claimed by well-to-do farmers, the petition alleged.

Another form of relief from the Maharashtra government came as a fixed compensation fees of Rs 1 lakh given to the families of debt ridden farmers who kill themselves.

This had perversely severe consequences, when the villagers started murdering their own family members passing them off as suicides, in order to get the government aid.

It is excellently presented in this article. (Do read, this is truly amazing)

Quoting from the article:

Villagers in the same district say that a 39-year-old man had killed his 60-year-old father and passed off the murder as suicide. The reason is somewhat complex. The assailant's wife, with the complicity of her own husband, was having an affair with a villager, and the old man had one day caught the two in a compromising position. Before the old man could create trouble, his son killed him by first strangulating him and then shoving pesticide into his mouth. Next morning, he announced that his father had committed suicide. And even got relief, according to the villagers.

The problems we face, like Pesticides in food, are petty and insignificant compared to the plight of these farmers, who have to struggle to survive and feed their families.
We care so much about our food, we are overlooking the ones who provide it to us.

"Creating Awareness", or "Educating farmers", will not save the dying farmer. Not will "Donations", which will never reach him. What we need to do is experience and understand the lives of our providers, the farmers o..., and then work on the solution, which will
1.Provide the farmer with the basic necessities of life.
2.Give him a purpose, shift his paradigm from surviving, to providing the population with quality food.

Of course, I may be wrong, and if you think so, please feel free to express yourself. Your thoughts and opinions will be deeply appreciated, and your criticisms, even more so.

Views: 25

Comment by Shane M. Wheeler on April 5, 2010 at 10:51pm
I agree/disagree.

Awareness and Education are two of the primary means of providing 1 and 2 to farmers. Still, it could be that current education is problematic, combined with bad trade practices.

As to number 1, I think there should be a shift towards this attitude towards the economy in general- poorly managed numerical systems of worth should not be the ultimate arbiter of anyone's survival.
Comment by Samiran Roy on April 5, 2010 at 11:01pm
Basic amenities of life include food, potable water, shelter and human rights. Once the farmer has an easy access to these, it is then we start his proper education.
Comment by Shane M. Wheeler on April 5, 2010 at 11:58pm
Retraction- I think I must have been hugely distracted while typing that.

This sounds like a problem with both environmental and governmental factors. Crop failure could be somewhat alleviated through education, unless the resources available are the primary problem. Often farmers are coerced by an outside entity to grow a crop they can sell rather than one that feeds them, which ultimately ends up costing the farmer more.

Debt factors into a lot of things- providers and governmental entities. If the taxes and farming supplies are designed at high profits for the providers at the farmers cost, then those would have to be mitigated. This is one of those areas social innovation seems reluctant to touch- regulatory laws against unfair trades and government policy problems.
Comment by Samiran Roy on April 6, 2010 at 7:34am
How true, thanks for sharing the link...

This reminds me of this story, one of the best I have read on the subject...


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