Suicides continue in the land of white gold. It has been 8 two months since Finance Minister P. Chidambaram announced a Rs 60,000-crore loan waiver for farmers. It was meant to prevent debt-ridden ryots from committing suicide. But in Vidarbha, where a large number of cotton farmers have committed suicide, the script has not changed.
The Union Minister for Panchayati Raj, Mani Shankar Aiyar, was recently in Nagpur to attend a conference. He volunteered to visit Koljhari, Bodhbadhan and Waiphad villages that witnessed many farmer suicides. At Waiphad, he met with a group of farmers and farm labourers who were eager to talk to him.
Every year, before monsoons, the spectre resurrects, grabs headlines and is buried in a few months. Malnutrition deaths of children in Maharashtra first made news a decade ago. Since then, committees have been appointed, schemes have been announced