18 suicides in farm sector in 2 months, says expert : The Tribune India

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Disturbing trend

18 suicides in farm sector in 2 months, says expert

CHANDIGARH: As many as 18 farmers and landless labourers have committed suicide in the Sangrur-Mansa belt during the past two months.



Sarbjit Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12

As many as 18 farmers and landless labourers have committed suicide in the Sangrur-Mansa belt during the past two months.

“We will submit a report to Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, in a few days,” said Inderjeet Singh Jaijee, who has been working on suicides cases in the farm sector for the past two decades.

He said that the most disturbing development was that now women had also begun committing suicide. As many as five women belonging to farming community committed suicide in the recent past, he said.

“I have got affidavits from the village panchayats concerned regarding the recent cases of suicide. These will be submitted to the respective Deputy Commissioners and also to the state government for appropriate action,” said Jaijee.

Jaijee has also been funding the education of children of farmers and landless labourers who ended their lives due to debt stress and other related reasons.

Jaijee said that the government should accept the affidavit given by the village panchayat as evidence to maintain its record of suicide cases.

“Families of such farmers cannot afford to spend money on getting the post-mortem examination done. Hence, this condition that has been laid to give compensation to the family should be waived,” he said, adding that the family has to spend money to take the body from the village to the hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Jaijee said that it was disappointing that the state government was doing nothing to check the suicide phenomenon.

“It should depute psychologists and counsellers to rural areas to educate farmers and others that suicide is not a solution to any problem. Camps should be held to assure farmers of all help. The district administration should hold meetings with them and hear their problems,” said Jaijee.

The government had recently announced that it would give Rs 3 lakh as compensation to the families of farmers and landless labourers, who ended their lives in distress. However, there has been no distribution of money to their next of kin.

Without any concrete political initiative, this problem related to the crisis in the farm sector cannot be tackled, he said.

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