Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘kisan rally’ against the contentious Land Acquisition Bill witnessed chaos in the afternoon when a man committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree.
The man, identified as Gajender Singh Rajput, from Rajasthan’s Dausa district, killed himself even after AAP leaders urged him to come down.
Gajender was rushed to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where doctors declared him dead.
Before ending his life, the farmer from Rajasthan had written a suicide note, which said he had nothing to look forward to in life as his entire crop had been destroyed by unseasonal rains.
In the end of his suicide note, Gajendar had written, “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Rajasthan”.
Recently, India has witnessed a surge in suicide rates of dozen debt-laden farmers. Unseasonal rains and hailstorms have taken a toll on the crops, most likely contributing to the suicides; however, the distressed farmers are blaming the government that not enough steps are taken to deliver relief to them. Along with that, the Land Acquisition Bill, that is tailor-made to suit the business houses, has doubled the discontent among the farmers. Also, the political parties are not leaving any stone unturned in extracting the maximum political gains from the issue.
Amid the political battle, it’s the farmer who is crushed like an insect and used as a tool to maximize political mileage for the political parties.
Recently, over 400 ryots (farmers) have killed themselves in Uttar Pradesh after their crops were damaged by the freakish weather phenomenon.
Statistics suggest that over 24.7 million acres of crops were destroyed in the unseasonal rain and hailstorms in the months of March and early April, and still central government says that there is no clear link to the suicides.
In a country that suffers from water scarcity all year, farmers in the villages of Narsinghpur district in Madhya Pradesh have come up with ingenious solutions for rainwater harvesting to address the issue.
While water shortage has been the bane of Salichauka village for long, a local farmer, Manoj Rai, has devised a solution not only to tackle the issue but also to find a way to manage excess rain water and use it to recharge water sources. To do this, he used waste material to channel the water to borewells and dry wells using a pipeline network.
Rai said the village was infamous for facing water scarcity. Such is his understanding of the gravity of the problem that he expounded that the 3rd World War would be fought over water and that several cities like Cape Town and Shimla are already on the verge of a Day-Zero situation.
He added that everyone can come up with their own technique for water harvesting without spending extra money and if every farmer did his bit towards redirecting excess water to recharge the groundwater, the future generations too will have water.
After Rai’s solution came to the limelight, other farmers also started adopting it and the water level has reportedly risen, the villagers claim. They believe this will help them during the summers too.
A resident of the village Kaluram Patel said he adopted the technique after he saw several other villagers using it.
He said they have witnessed a rise in water level and the tube wells now have water which would help him grow multiple crops in a year.
Similarly, in the rocky terrains of Bilguwa village, it was becoming increasingly difficult for the farmers to procure water for their crops when Monu Pathak, a local farmer, devised a solution to conserve water.
Pathak said he constructed a model to recharge the groundwater level. He pointed out that it is extremely important to look for methods to save water when half of the country is facing water shortage and the rest facing floods. He also urged the residents of the village to employ such methods in their houses or farms.
Sushil Kumar, a resident of Bilguwa, said the technique employed by Pathak is easy to operate.
He said if every farmer were to utilise rainwater harvesting techniques, the water level would witness a significant rise and would solve the water crisis in the village.
Agricultural scientists claimed that the crops in the region were getting affected by the declining groundwater level and commended the efforts by the farmers to address the water crisis.
Rajesh Tripathi, Deputy Director at the district agriculture department, pointed out the irregular pattern of rains that the region has witnessed.
He said that if water is being continuously pumped using tube wells or sprinkler pump, the water sources are going to keep depleting.
If we can find a way for the rainwater to replenish the water table directly, farmers would benefit from it, he said.
While commending the efforts taken by the farmers of Bilguwa and Salichauka, he added that efforts are being taken to educate the farmers about the importance of adopting such techniques to recharge any water source in their vicinity. (IANS)