THE ALL Indian Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), which is a body of 250 farmers’ organisations from across the country, has decided to observe ‘Kisan Samman Diwas’ on Saturday (May 16). During the day, they will protest in every village of the country against the Modi government’s “anti-farmer and anti- migrant policies” while maintaining social distancing.
Farmers criticised the second tranche of economic stimulus announced by the Centre, calling “fake relief” for farmers and migrants.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Dakaunda, Jagmohan Singh, who is also a member of AIKSCC, said that ‘Kisan Samman Diwas’ will be observed on Saturday at 9 am in every village of the country when farmers stood up and worked hard under adverse conditionsas ‘food warriors’ of the country to ensure food security.
He said that farmers faced huge losses due to lockdown in the rural India at the crucial time of harvesting Rabi crops including the fruits and vegetables which were the worst hit and farmers did not get even throw away prices for their crops.
“There was no scientific reason to lock down rural India and agricultural fields for Covid spread, as airy open spaces are the safest areas to be in to avoid Coronavirus. Only protection measures like masks and distancing etc. should have been advocated, which was not done in the beginning when crop tending was at its last stage and harvesting specially of vegetables suffered badly,” said AIKSCC.
Jagmohan said they will also demand slashing of fuel prices to Rs 22 per litre as the government has done in case of air turbine fuel. They also demanded waiving farmers and farm labourers’ loans.
“Yesterday’s package of Rs 2 lakh crore in loans for 2.5 crore farmers with 2 per cent interest subvention amounts to relief of just Rs 4000 crore and not the mega amount being projected,” said Jagmohan.
AIKSCC said that an allocation of Rs 30,000 crore for capital investments for farming meanS that only Rs 2,542 will come to each cultivator. There are 11.8 crore cultivators in the country.
“Government claims of protecting migrants from hunger by announcing 5 kg food grain per month is again a cruel joke when Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends a minimum of 14.7 kg grain for the consumption of an average adult per month. And the Rs 3500 crore for the next 2 months for 8 crore migrant workers would mean Rs 437 per migrant, which is two days’ wage of an MNREGA worker,” said AIKSCC.