No govt aid in sight, Vidarbha's farmers floored by Rahul's sanvad yatra
Farmers in the Amravati district of Vidarbha region today told Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi that they have not received adequate government help and demanded minimum price for their crops.
Mumbai: Farmers in the Amravati district of Vidarbha region today told Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi that they have not received adequate government help and demanded minimum price for their crops.
“We want the minimum price for crops. The traders are only getting the benefit and not the farmers. Whenever we sell the crops, we don’t even get the minimum price for it. And when the traders store it in the godown and sell it later on, they get the higher price than farmers,” a farmer complained to Rahul Gandhi.
The Gandhi scion today launched his 'sanvad yatra' from Gunji village in Maharashtra's Amravati district, the epicenter of farmers suicides, to highlight farmers' woes in the region.
The farmer further told Rahul that if the government wants to save the nation, it has to save its farmers. “The government says that it is giving everything to farmers. Actually, it provides electricity to factories during day and for farming during night. Then, how we are going to do the farming? We don’t want any help from the government but want minimum price for crops and waive off all the loans,” the farmer added.
During his 15-km long padyatra, Gandhi visited five villages between Gunji and Ramgaon and also met nine families of farmers who have committed suicides and the farmers who have suffered crop losses due to unseasonal rain and drought.
The family members of Ambadas Vahile, a farmer from gunji village in Amravati, who committed suicide due to his debt burden, appeared happy with Rahul visiting their home. “He asked us why my uncle committed suicide, whether we have any bank or private loan. He also inquired about whether we have any insurance cover and have received any money from it, whether any government officials or public representative visited the family. We told him that our uncle committed suicide because of repeated loss of crops for last four years due to drought and unseasonal rains and also because of bank and private loan,” Anil Wahile, a farmer, told Firstpost. He added that the family has not received any government help.
“Since the highest number of farmers has committed suicide in Amravati, he ( Rahul) said he has come here for observation to know the reasons. He then asked us about what are the reasons behind so many farmers committing suicides. We told him that there is a lack of irrigation which is why the farmers are not able to get good farm production. He has asked the local Congress MLA to provide us all possible help,” he added hoping that they will get some help.
Gandhi, who met another family of a farmer Kishor Kamble who committed suicide recently, in Shahapur, also assured them of providing a government job. The family complained to him that it has not received any government help.
“We told him that my father committed suicide due to huge loan. Since we have only 3 acre land, it is not possible for me and my brother to survive on it. So, we have demanded him to give a government job to one of us. He has assured us about it. He also asked local congress MLA to provide some financial help to the family,” said Kamble’s son.
Many farmers lauded Rahul for hearing them out. “We elected the BJP government hoping it will help us and bring acche din for us. While most of the ministers including chief minister in the state government are from Vidarbha region, they have failed to resolve the issues faced by us. Despite the change in power, nothing has changed for us. It is good that someone is coming, sharing our grief and assuring us of taking up the matter,” said Askhay Tale, a farmer from Gunji village.
Kishor Tiwari, farmers’ activist and chief of Vidrabha Jan Andolan Samiti said that Gandhi’s visit has brought the farmers’ issue at the national level. “Now, we want the chief minster Devendra Fadnavis and Prime minister Narendra Modi to fulfill the promises assured us during the poll campaigning. Rather than politicizing, the government should work towards resolving our issues and provide relief to lakhs of farmers,” Tiwari said.
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