What is the exact definition of the farmer? An apt and appropriate answer should be “A farmer is such a human being who cultivates life for us! “ Without the hard work of a farmer, we would never get food to sustain life. Unfortunately, these farmers have no life.
Their own life is at stake. We hardly can value their sacrifices and can acknowledge their contributions. Recently the death of farmers in Tamil Nadu has been highlighted. It’s nothing new though in our country. The strategy started in January when a farmer near Erode committed suicide by hanging himself to death. He was unable to repay the loan which he borrowed to purchase a tractor and a cow. The farmer took the loan from Indian Overseas Bank. According to the reports, he was notified by the bank after he failed to pay his debts back.
On 9th March, another 72-year-old Agriculturist Vembukrishnan committed suicide after he failed to repay his loan to the Indian Overseas bank. He left a suicide note where he mentioned that he was insulted badly by the bank manager which led him to take such decision. As per the suggestion of Agricultural Department, the helpless farmer borrowed from IOB in 2007-08 for cultivating mango, paddy, chilli, and plantain. He paid back the debt for mango and chilli plantations, but couldn’t pay back the money he borrowed for plantain and paddy. He had dues up to Rs. 90,000. Even with lots of difficulties he paid the bank on a yearly basis. Only last year due to his illness he couldn’t pay anything to the bank. So, he mortgaged his wife’s mangalusutra to get additional money for farming. On the 7th of March, when he went back to pay Rs. 50,000 to the bank and get back the chain, he was harassed mentally.
Farmers unions have claimed the tragedy to be ‘murder of farmers’. Dheiva Sigamani, Head of the Tamil Nadu Vivasayi Sangangal Kootu Eyakkam stated that they are facing the worst drought in 140 years. The lands are parched and farmers are helpless. Things are bound to get worse.
In January, the National Human Rights Council issued a notice to the Government of Tamil Nadu regarding continuing farmer deaths in the state. Over 106 farmers have given their lives up due to the loss in farming and immense mental pressure. It’s really a matter of concern which should be taken care of immediately with great importance.