Farm Suicides In Sircilla Division: Plea To Assist Families

The District Collector


Sub: Compensation to families of farmers who have committed suicide – G.O.Ms.No. 421– improper  implementation – regarding

We wish to draw your attention to the appalling state of affairs regarding implementation of G.O. Ms. No. 421 Rev DA2 Deptt., dt 1/6/2004, in Sircilla division of Karimnagar district.

A team of the Human Rights Forum (HRF) visited several villages in Sircilla division on April 6 to look into implementation of G.O.Ms.No. 421. The administration has identified 13 cases of reported farmers’ suicides in the division during the year 2011. We looked into seven of these cases and spoke to the family members of the deceased farmers and with other residents of the village.

We were shocked to learn that the three-member divisional verification committee has not completed enquiries in a single case. In fact, the committee has so far not visited a single family and gone about its duties as is envisaged under the G.O.Ms.No. 421. Consequently, the families of farmers who had committed suicide have been unable to obtain any assistance whatsoever from the government. Our enquiries with concerned citizens, mediapersons and functionaries of farmers’ organisations revealed that the three-member committee has not visited any of the other six families either. Some of these suicides have taken place over a year ago and the families are barely able to get by. Administrative negligence on this scale defeats the very purpose of G.O. 421 and in a sense multiplies their tragedy.

In the seven cases we enquired into, we are of the opinion that all of them are eligible for the financial and rehabilitation package under G.O. 421. Most of the deceased were small, marginal and tenant farmers who raised cotton as the principal crop in a rain-fed area. Given lack of access to institutional credit, high input costs and failing and untimely rains they were pushed into a cycle of debts they had incurred in the process of cultivation. They ended their lives after being driven to utter despair as they were unable to pay back these loans which they had taken at high interest rates from private lenders. As such they fall within the purview of G.O. 421.

We urge you to ensure immediate initiation of division-level verification in Sircilla mandal in all pending cases and come to the aid of these families.

The situation in the other divisions of the district is only slightly better. While division-level enquiries have been done and financial assistance provided for in some cases, others have been rejected because of a short-sighted and narrow interpretation of the policy set out in G.O. 421. We request you to get all these cases also enquired into afresh and do justice to the families who have already lost much and are in a state of acute desperation.

Yours truly

V S Krishna
(HRF State general secretary)

Md. Anwar
(HRF State secretary)


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