Madhya Pradesh: Farmer suicides on the rise again

Bhopal: Farmer suicides are back to haunt the Madhya Pradesh government. Once again the familiar stories of failed crops and staggering debts have forced many farmers to end their lives. Be it drought, floods or snow ruining their crop, relief is never in sight for the farmers who ultimately bear all the brunt.

"The snow ruined my crop... so I drank pesticide... I have to pay back a debt of Rs 2 lakh... had I died... I would have escaped that debt,'' said Uday Singh, a 28-year-old farmer from Damoh Madhya Pradesh, who thought suicide would mean an end to all his woes. But fortunately or unfortunately he survived. However, the wheat and pulses on his 15-acre farm did not.

Successive incidents of crop failure coupled with aggressive loan recovery, is driving the farmers to the edge. In the recent times, more than seven farmers from the nearby districts have committed suicide.

In the year 2009, approximately 1,395 farmers had committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh which brings us to a shocking average of four farmer deaths every day.

But still, every time farmer suicides are on the rise, activists and farmers struggle to make the government register them. And this year too is no different.

''In none of the cases was the debt so compelling that they would commit suicide... despite that the CM has ordered an on-the-ground survey,'' said Narrotam Mishra, the government spokesperson in Madhya Pradesh.
Now, the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister has requested the Centre for a package of Rs 5000 cr as a relief measure. But until it reaches the needy, one can only hope the death toll doesn't rise any further.