Jai Jawan Jai Kisan!
A very famous slogan which is always heard in and around India. India who gained her independence in 1947, since then we have slogans for everything from the military forces of India to the Indian farmers.
The two main categories of people, one who protect us 365 days and the other who sees to that we do not sleep hungry. One category which receives so much of allowance from the government and on the other hand, the other attempts suicide when they do not get a proper crop yield.
When does a farmer decide to attempt a suicide, it is generally when he feels completely helpless and clueless about what will happen next. Suicide is the last resort, rather it should not be counted as a resort at all. Suicide should not be an option at all. But then what forces the farmers to attempt suicide?
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India is an agrarian country where 70% of the population depends directly or indirectly on agriculture. Every year there are more than 5000 farmers committing suicide due to various reasons like monsoon failure, drought, flood, use of genetically modified seeds and low quality of pesticides, high debt burdens, government policies, mental health conditions and other personal family matter. As a matter of fact the most common reason is unable to return their debts in time.
What has caused the farmers prone to economic vulnerability? There are so many government laws and policies for farmers, yet they find suicide an easier option is a question to ponder on. After independence farmers needed to compete with the international standards and quality. Even though their income was less, their input capital was more. They invested more in quality crop and pesticides. Incase due to some climatic conditions the yield is not up to the mark then the farmer automatically goes in loss and under more debt pressure. Even if the yield of that year is good, we hear of suicides, why? That is because we have a lot of corrupt middle men who deny farmers their actual returns. The Agricultural Produce and Market Committee act was introduced to ensure correct prices to farmers but still the middlemen have somehow managed to manipulate their power of influence in the supply chain, in return exploiting the farmers by buying their produce at a far lower price than deserved.
But one cannot ignore the efforts put in by the Government to ease a farmer’s load in India. They have provided various subsidies under various schemes. For example, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana , National Food Security Mission, Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India Scheme, National Horticulture Mission.
One can also see that the budget 2016-17 has proposed to get 2.85 million hectares under irrigation. The other initiatives taken by the Modi government also include: Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana which is a crop insurance policy with relaxed premium rates on the principal sum given to the farmers, approval of the Blue Revolution and also the launch of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana in which the government has promised to improve and support the organic farming practices.