Unseasonal rains and hail storms had destroyed crops like wheat, mustard causing heavy losses to the marginal farmers in various parts of the country. A recent television report pertaining to this issue very clearly depicted the grim situation of agriculture in our country. Most of the farmers own only around five bighas of land in our country. If the crops get destroyed at this juncture then they have to undergo lot of hardships as they have to support their family. During this period nobody comes forward to provide financial assistance to them. Earlier this summer, many farmers in the wheat-growing belt of Punjab and Haryana had to bear the impact of high temperatures leading to the shrivelling of grain and resulting in a loss of an estimated three million tonnes of wheat.
The legislators fail to realize that the most practical way of rendering governmental assistance is to allocate money to the district magistrate as he can then distribute the funds through panchayat and local administration. The government always claims that they have sanctioned lumpsum money but they fail to check if the compensation reaches the debt ridden farmers quickly.
The duty of the government is to remain vigilant and provide assistance to farmers. If there is a bumper harvest cold storages and warehouses must be constructed to store the produce for year long distribution via fair price shops and retail outlets. Steps must be taken to look for methods to conserve water and recycle it. The next step is to enhance electric power production, detect and minimize theft and provide efficient power distribution system. All technologies connected therewith should be studied and foreign assistance should be sought.
Administrative machinery must learn these things instead of learning bogus rules and procedures and wasting time.
The district magistrate must be empowered to take crucial decisions. The patwari exists at the lowest level. The government must not simply praise LK Advani and persuade him to do “marg darshan”. The government must not give a nod for constructing too many private universities and should pay attention to the promotion of elementary education at the village level.
Recently, I visited the “Sankat Mochan” mandir at Varanasi for praying. I noticed a strange activity there as people were tying jute thread (sutli) to the trees inside. You can see hundreds of such threads tied to the trees there. Most of these threads were tied by healthy looking ladies wearing expensive saris.