TN Farmers Drought Cause

By Saravana Raja Prabhu Ambrose

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I have been inspired by farmers protest in Delhi conducted by TN farmers associations, I thought of helping our farmers by raising fund from public.


The funds raised by this campaign will be donated to family help close the Loans of farmers and I hope it wil stop the farmer suicide.


The STORY:


What sort of desperation pushes someone to play dead for an entire day? Lying still, mouth tied with a cloth, surrounded by skulls and bones.

Reinforcing the funereal air at Delhi's Jantar Mantar are close to 80-odd farmers from Tamil Nadu who, wearing a single piece of cloth, are mock-wailing around a 'dead' body.

It has been nearly two weeks since this group of farmers from Tamil Nadu came to New Delhi, after realising that their home state does not care about them. Not that the country's capital does either, but Jantar Mantar is considered the hub for all protests.

The farmers have attracted some media attention, albeit because of the macabre sight of the skulls and bones – reportedly of other farmers from Tamil Nadu who killed themselves. Over 270 farmers in Tamil Nadu have reportedly committed suicide or have died of natural causes since October.

Earlier, the same group of farmers, mainly from the Cauvery Delta districts, had tried gimmicks like standing in the river water all day or protesting by keeping alive or dead rats in their mouths outside the Trichy collectorate in Tamil Nadu in December.

They repeated the 'rats for breakfast' act for shock value in the Capital on Monday. Wearing loincloth, they even climbed the trees at Jantar Mantar in order to attract attention. Basically, anything to grab the mindspace of the Lutyens' political class.

But beyond the novelty of their protests, that made for some interesting photo-ops, it did little to get them any relief. Farmer deaths continue to be reduced to statistics, an apathetic way of dealing with a very real human crisis.


Farmers from Tamil Nadu protesting at Delhi's Jantar Mantar

The Tamil Nadu government had asked for a loan waiver and other relief measures to the tune of Rs 39,000 crore from the Centre. But the High Level committee of the Union government last week approved a financial assistance of Rs 2,014 crore, which though the highest among the amounts given to ten drought-affected states, did not make the farmers happy.

They argue that apart from compensation to the farmers, the lower riparian state also deserves funds to build projects to be water sustainable. The standoff with Karnataka every year over the Cauvery river means that the Tamil Nadu farmer gets short shrift.

The plight of the farmers did not start yesterday. Thanks to the ugly legal battle between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the release of the Cauvery water in September last year, the farmers lost much of their kuruvai (summer) crop.

What made it worse was the fact that the northeast monsoon, which gives Tamil Nadu its maximum rainfall, failed between October and December. The monsoon deficit, of 62 percent, was the worst in a century, with the state receiving only 166 mm of rainfall against the seasonal average of 437 mm. The samba (winter) crop also failed as a result.



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Saravana Raja Prabhu Ambrose
 
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Saravana Raja Prabhu A

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