Can we commit suicide? Maharashtra farmers write letter asking permission from government

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Seven debt-ridden farmers in Maharashtra’s Wardha district have reportedly sought a green signal from the local administration to commit suicide and end their woes. The group of seven farmers also includes three women.

“The situation has become so bad that these seven peasants have approached the district officials requesting their green signal to end their lives,” said Kishore Tiwari, president of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, an NGO working on farmers’ rights.

Kishore Ingale, Bhanudas Wadadkar, Pankaj Gawande, Shankar Khadse, and the women farmers – Kundabai Lonkar, Kamala Warhade and Vasanta Gingavkar – from Wadad village have been taking rounds in visiting the local administrative authorities for aid promised by the Maharashtra government, but in vain.

The farmers wrote letters around 10 days ago and simply submitted them to the local tehsildar, seeking their “clearance” to commit suicide. They even got an official acknowledgement from the amused local officers, who then sent the documents to the collector’s office, from where the farmers got another acknowledgement.

Government norms prescribe an aid of Rs 4000 per head for farmers in case of crop losses suffered due to various reasons.

“For over six months, the money remains locked up in bank accounts as the district authorities are not clearing the disbursal. This is now forcing the farmers to write letters and ask for ‘clearance’ before committing suicide,” Tiwari said.

The current dry spell in Maharashtra has damaged about 70 percent of sown crops, and influenced 23 lives to end their lives in the past 12 days.