Coming to the rescue of farmers

THE initiative taken by the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) to address the grievances of debt-ridden families of farmers is commendable. Though the government claims to have taken steps in this regard, it seems that except recording (that too under-recording) cases of suicides by farmers, nothing worthwhile has been done to alleviate their sufferings.

The spate of suicides continues unabated for over a decade. At the People’s Tribunal at Lehragaga on April 2, families of farmers finally broke the “culture of silence”. The Tribune’s revelation of sufferings and agony of the families are shocking. The Tribune report once again forced the government to take suitable measures in this regard.

Having responded rightly, the Chief Minister has taken up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Member of Parliament M.S. Gill’s appeal to restore Sir Chhotu Ram’s policy of debt conciliation is also welcome. Let us hope that the efforts from voluntary organisations and mounting pressure by the media will goad the government to take concrete action to help farmers.

Dr SHALINI SHARMA, Dept of Sociology, PAU, Ludhiana

Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief



It is sad to see the widows of farmers carrying on their responsibilities. Successive governments have squeezed the farmers with price hike in all the inputs like fertiliser and diesel. They do not get the right price for their produce.

Farm subsidy is given to the fertiliser industry though fertiliser is available at much cheaper rates internationally and of better quality. Tractors are substandard but exported at much cheaper rates.

If they take up forestry, there is a mafia. The prices of foodgrains cannot be reduced at the cost of the farmers. Farmers should get remunerative price for their produce so that they can educate their children and have two square meals a day.



Eliminating the monumentally profiteering middlemen between the poor farmers and the ultimate consumers of agricultural produce and tackling the private money lenders who charge hefty interest rates will help the poor farmers much more than giving them free power. What is the use of giving free power to the poor farmers that is most often non-existent and of poor quality? Such measures are just gimmicks to perpetuate vote bank politics.

R.P. RAMMOHAN, Hyderabad (AP)


THE Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) have a common goal — how to harass Aam Admi. The HUDA has been torturing the common man by artificially raising the land prices. At places, it resorts to auction to which only the rich respond. This has become a source of money making for HUDA.

Not long ago, the sale of plots in various towns of Haryana was announced by HUDA. Various public sector and private banks started giving loans for the payment of earnest money. HUDA got huge money and banks too earned profit. The government should ensure that only needy persons were given the plots.

The story of PUDA is no better. Has it ever sold plots to the poor anywhere at reasonable rates? Strangely, plots in private colonies are cheaper than those offered by PUDA.

K.K. BHARDWAJ, Patiala


Impaired growth

In her article “Innocence in jail” (April 5), Aditi Tandon has exposed the total recklessness of the courts which allow young innocent children to grow up with their convicted mothers inside the walls of our dark and filthy prisons. Without love, care, education and opportunity to play and interact with other children, these children are destined to end up becoming criminals themselves.

There is total lack of empathy by the government at the Centre and in the states. In the US, it is against the law to allow any child to live with his/her mother, who is undergoing imprisonment. When a mother is convicted for a crime and incarcerated, her children below 18 years become the ward of the state and sent to a foster home. During their stay there, they receive all what they need for their conducive growth like clean dwelling, food, health care, education, recreational activities, counselling etc. all at the state expense.

Further, it is up to the court to allow a convicted woman’s close relative to claim the custody of her children after due verification and assessing his/her capacity to provide them a clean and healthy living. If no one claims their custody, the state would take care of them until each turns 18.



The writer has touched a socially relevant subject. These children, because of their infancy are lodged in the prisons with their mothers and thus destined to impaired growth, devoid of minimum essential ingredients, disallowing them from growing into normal human beings.

For them, a few faces of jail inmates and routine meals just sufficient to survive are all the world consists of. It is the government’s duty to impart nursery and elementary education as also adequate health services to these children so that they can join the mainstream after coming out from the prisons.

Dr Kiran Bedi’s momentous steps taken in New Delhi’s Tihar jail in respect of reformation and correction should be implemented in all the jails in the country.

Major BALDEV SINGH (retd), Ambala Cantt

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |