160 affected families denied ex-gratia
The families of debt-ridden farmers who committed suicide, are in dire straits in the district. Adilabad is a backward district in Telangana State. Farmers are largely dependent on monsoon rains for cultivation as most parts of the district do not have proper irrigation facilities. Generally, the poor farmers raise crops by borrowing money from local moneylenders.
Adilabad: The families of debt-ridden farmers who committed suicide, are in dire straits in the district. Adilabad is a backward district in Telangana State. Farmers are largely dependent on monsoon rains for cultivation as most parts of the district do not have proper irrigation facilities. Generally, the poor farmers raise crops by borrowing money from local moneylenders.
There is no guarantee that they reap a good harvest due to vagaries of nature. The frequent crop failures and lack of remunerative prices for agricultural produce in the market are the major reasons behind spate of farmer suicides in the district. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 1,182 debt-ridden farmers committed suicide in the district from 1995 to 2016.
After the formation of Telangana State, 73 farmers ended their lives in 2014, 101 in 2015 and 24 in the first three months of 2016. Out of the total 198 families of suicide victims, only 38 families have so far got the ex-gratia announced by the State Government. This is largely attributed to `false' reports submitted by the three-member committees certifying suicide deaths.
The poor families who lost their bread winners are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet due to delay or non-payment of ex-gratia. They are also facing pressure from local money lenders demanding repayment of debts. Narrating their plight to The Hans India on Sunday, the kin of the suicide victims of Hasgul village said: We are making rounds of the mandal revenue office seeking payment of ex-gratia.
But the revenue officials are indifferent to our plight. The State Government failed to ensure payment of ex-gratia to the families of all the suicide victims in the district.’’ As per the criteria, a three-member committee comprising the Tahsildar, local Sub-Inspector of Police and an official of the Agriculture department should submit a report to the district authorities certifying the suicide death.
As many as 14 documents need to be submitted as proof that the farmer committed suicide. In some cases, moneylenders and owners of fertilizer shops were reluctant to furnish information pertaining to the suicide death. It was alleged that the committees were submitting reports without visiting the house of suicide victim in some cases.
As a result, some of the reports submitted by the committees are being rejected at the divisional level. A few affected families alleged that the submission of `false' reports was a deliberate attempt by some officials to lessen the number of farmer suicides. Otherwise, the failure of the State Government to come to the rescue of the affected farmers would be revealed, they said.
Meanwhile, farmers’ organizations are demanding relaxation of norms for sanctioning of ex- gratia to the families of suicide victims. The ex-gratia should be paid to the families of all suicide victims as per GO 194. The aid should be provided to the affected families based on the FIR filed by the police and the resolution adopted by the grama sabha to avoid undue delay, a leader of the farmers said.