The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday issued a notice to the government, calling for a detailed report of the status of its schemes meant for the welfare of farmers after taking suo motu cognisance of media reports that 639 farmers had died in the state between March and May this year.
The notice, issued to the state chief secretary, seeks information about the implementation of the schemes and relief given to the families of farmers who had committed suicide. A notice was also issued to the Union Ministry of Agriculture secretary, seeking reply on whether the Centre had any specific plan or mechanism to effectively address the situation.
Both have to reply to the NHRC within four weeks.
Last week, state Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil had told the Legislative Council that 639 farmers have committed suicide in three months (March to May) due to pressing debt, crop failure and the inability to repay bank loans. “Of these 639 farmers, 188 were declared eligible for compensation as per government schemes, based on the government’s criteria of crop failure, debts and their failure to repay loans… Of the 188, families of 174 farmers have received compensation,” Patil had said, adding that 122 cases were declared ineligible for compensation, while 329 cases were pending for further investigation.
The NHRC observed that inspite of announcement of several schemes for farmers, including crop insurance and loan waiver, they are committing suicide, unable to cope with the stress, financial crunch and social stigma associated with crop failure.