Death trail

over 644 farmers of Maharashtra, chiefly in Vidharbha, Marathwada and Khandesh regions, committed suicide between March 2001 and December 2004, according to a report submitted on March 16, 2005 to the Bombay High Court (hc) by Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (tiss). The hc had appointed tiss a consultant under a Public Interest Litigation (pil) filed by All India Biodynamic and Organic Farming Association. The report Causes of Farmer Suicides in Maharashtra: An Enquiry says the reasons behind the desperate move by the farmers was the failure of the state machinery to protect them.

"Repeated crop failures, inability to meet the rising cost of cultivation, and indebtedness