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‘Multiple factors responsible for farmers’ suicide in country’

Rising incidents of farmers’ suicide in the country, particularly in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha, are caused by multiple factors that leads an individual to state a of helplessness, influenced by social conditions and mental health, experts in a book on farmers’ suicides said.

In the book — Farmers Suicides in Vidarbha: An Agrarian Crisis — published by Tirpude College of Social Work, it advocated that there should be a committee formed, comprising economists, agriculturists, psychiatrists and social workers even religious leaders, to deliberate on the issue.

The book is a compilation of articles by various writers and experts who have studied the issue of farmers’ suicide in the country, specially in Maharashtra.

There is also a need for well designed field-based prospective studies to understand the issue in details and to find out comprehensive interventions strategies to offer support and counselling to vulnerable farmers in the rural areas, it said.

In one of the articles, it was quoted that at least 2,70, 940 farmers have ended their lives since 1995, which is an annual average of 14,462 in six years from 1995 to 2000, as per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The report further said Maharashtra topped the number of suicides by farmers in 2010.

It pointed that paucity of new techniques, decline in cotton crop, lack of irrigation facilities, addictions and heavy indebtedness, as some of the chief reasons for the large number of suicides.

The book, edited by Principal K S Patil, carries articles on relevant topics such as agrarian crisis and cotton growing farmers suicide, a sociological analysis of suicides in India, endless woes of farmers of Vidarbha, psycho-social aspects of farmers suicides, socio-economic antecedents, catastrophe of farmers suicide, farmers’ graveyard in Vidarbha, plight of farmers and correctional measures among others.

According to the book, close to two-thirds of all farm suicides have been reported in five states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

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