Even as over 200 farmers ended their lives in drought-hit Osamanabad of Marathwada region in the last 16 months, the district administration has rejected proposals for government help sought by the kin in 76 suicide cases.
The district collector, however, said the 76 proposals were rejected following inquiry.
During last 16 months, 212 farmers committed suicide in Osmanabad district, which is facing severe water crisis for four consecutive years. Government help was provided to the kin in 120 cases, as per official figures.
Besides, 76 proposals for help were rejected by the district administration and 16 suicide cases are still pending for inquiry, according to the data.
Notably, in 2015, 164 farmers committed suicide in Osmanabad, which is the highest number of such cases in the district in last one decade.
This year till April, 48 farmers ended their lives over reasons including drought, harassment from private moneylenders for loan recovery and crop failure.
In the district’s Devlali village, farmer Prashant Kaspate (35) allegedly hanged himself in his house in October last year, following crop failure and harassment from private moneylender for loan recovery.
The district administration rejected his 70-year-old mother Subabai Kaspate’s help proposal, saying Prashant had not taken loan from a nationalised bank.
Subabai now lives alone amid poor economic conditions, still awaiting government help.
“Government is not thinking in favour of the farmer. This government is against the farmers,” Subabai alleged.
Like Subabai, 76 families of farmers who committed suicide are waiting for government help.
Osmanabad District Collector Dr. Prashant Narnaware told PTI, “We are with farmers. We rejected proposals after inquiry.”
“We are taking strong action against private moneylenders who harass farmers, and appeal farmers to give written complaints against moneylenders,” he further said.
Meanwhile, former state minister and Congress MLA from Tuljapur in Osmanabad, Madhukarrao Chavan demanded a fresh inquiry into all the rejected proposals and economic help to the kin of the deceased farmers.
“In worst drought situation the government and administration are busy judging farmer suicide cases whether they are eligible for help or not, this is against humanity.
The government needs to change the rules and give all help,” he said.
Chavan also said that Congress will soon protest against the government over this issue.