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Compiled by Nandini Voice for The Deprived For a country which has the capacity to produce three crops in a year, the ceaseless cases of farmer suicides are an ignominious fact. The statics of the deaths are so high that there is nothing personal or moving left in them.
For a country which has the capacity to produce three crops in a year, the ceaseless cases of farmer suicides are an ignominious fact. The statics of the deaths are so high that there is nothing personal or moving left in them. The death count of a disaster raises more sympathy than the suicides of the Indian farmers. It has become more of a factor to lash the ruling
count of a disaster raises more sympathy than the suicides of the Indian farmers. It has become more of a factor to lash the ruling party by the opposition than a warning sign in Indian agriculture to actually do something.
However, not all are insensitive to the agrarian plight. Nandini Voice for The Deprived , a Chennai based NGO organized an All India Essay Competition for the citizens on “How to prevent farmers’ suicides in India?” to look critically into the issue.
Over 5,600 Farmers Committed Suicide In 2014
Farmer Suicides Have Come Down Under Modi Government
Here are some reasons and a few solutions to the problem as suggested by the participants in the competition.
Problems of Indian agriculture:
1. Agriculture is unorganized activity today
Indian agriculture is largely an unorganized sector. No systematic institutional and organizational planning is involved in cultivation, irrigation, harvesting etc.
Institutional finances are not adequately available and minimum purchase price fixed by the government do not reach the poorest farmer.
2. Most farms are small and economically unfeasible
The ground reality is that majority of the farmers in India own as little as two acres of land. Cultivation on such small area is not economically feasible. Such small farmers have become vulnerable in Indian agriculture.
In many cases, the farmers are not even the owners of the land, which makes profitable cultivation impossible because a significant portion of the earnings goes towards the payment of lease for the land.
3. Middlemen and economic exploitation of farmers
Exploitation by the middlemen is the reason put forth for not getting the best price for the produce of the agriculturists.
The government should promote the plan called “ulavar santhai” (Farmers Market), where the farmers can directly sell their products at reasonable price to the consumers.
4. Government programs do not reach small farmers
The government has implemented agricultural debt. waiver and debt. relief scheme in 2008 to benefit over 36 million farmers. Direct agricultural loan to stressed farmers under so called Kisan credit Card were also covered under this scheme.
However, most of the subsidies and welfare schemes announced by the Central and State governments do not reach the poor farmers in Indian agriculture. On the contrary, only big landlords are benefited by those schemes.
5. High indebtedness and exorbitant interest rates
The root cause of farmers taking their lives is the increase in their indebtedness and debt burden.
Exorbitant interest rates have to be declared illegal and the government has to take strict measures against greedy money lenders.
Easy access to institutional credits have to reach the small and marginal farmers, without cumbersome procedures.
6. Real estate mafia
We can see even fertile land best suited for agricultural purpose being sold to real estate people, who prepare plots and give attractive advertisements to sell at exorbitant price. There is need to implement strict measures to prevent land grabbing.
Solutions to the problem:
1. Multiple crops
Cultivation of multi crops such as coconut, turmeric, pineapple, banana, apple, papaya, ginger will yield profitable results to the farmers.
2. Special agricultural zone
Just like industrial zone, there is an urgent need to establish special agricultural zones, where only farming and agriculture related activity should be allowed.
3. Need to modernize agriculture
By introducing farm techniques which guarantee a definite success, an increase in youth participation on agricultural fields is economically possible. This can be attained only by implementing new technologies. Research efforts should continue for the production of crops with higher yield potential and better resistance to pests in Indian agriculture.
Technological advancement in agriculture should be passed down to the small farmers.
Where the existing crops would not do well under drought and weather conditions, the farmers should be helped to shift to cultivating crops that would be easy and economical to cultivate.
4. Educate the farmers
Many farmers in India are not aware of crop rotation. Though education in urban areas has improved a lot, the government has ignored the same in rural areas in general and in agriculture sector in particular. This is the reason why farmers are not adequately aware of the various schemes provided by the government.
5. Clubbing of small fields may help
Several farmers who own small piece of land can join together and combine all small fields into one large chunk. This may help in variety of ways.
Read About Maharashtra Initiatives On Farmer’s Suicide
6. Need for meaningful crop insurance policies
Crop insurance is must and the claim should be settled easily under the supervision of the district collectors.
Traditional crop insurance depends on the direct measurement of the damage suffered by a farmer to determine his/her payout. However, field loss assessment is often not feasible or expensive, since most of our farmers are small holders.
Index based insurance, on the other hand, responds to defined parameter.
Index based insurance has the advantages that it is transparent and all the insurers within the defined geographical area are treated equally. It has low operational and transnational costs, while also ensuring quick payouts.
7. .Need for better water management
Irrigation facilities that are currently available do not cover the entire cultivable land. Apart from the areas where perennial rivers flow, most of the agricultural fields do not have irrigation facility.
In most cases, it is not the lack of water but the lack of proper water management that causes water shortage. Improved modern methods of rain water harvesting should be developed.
Water management can be made more effective through interstate co-operation on water resources, where surplus water from perennial rivers can be diverted to the needy areas.
Connecting the rivers throughout the country will solve this problem in Indian agriculture. Construction of National Waterways will improve the irrigation facility, which in turn can save the farmers if the monsoon would fail.
8. Alternate source of income for farmers
Small farmers should be encouraged to develop alternative sources of income and the government should take up the responsibility for providing training to the farmers to acquire new skills.
In drought affected areas, the government should start alternative employment generation programs to reduce the dependence on agriculture as the sole source of income. Such programs should be standardized.
Farmers should be enabled to divide their activities into three parts. One for regular crop production, one for animal husbandry or fisheries and another for timber production. These activities complement each other and also alternate sources of income of farmers can be ensured.
9. Need for national weather risk management system/disease alert system
Facilitating national weather risk management system that alerts farmers when there is a danger of extreme weather, would go a long way in reducing losses in Indian agriculture.
Value added services like pest and disease alert applications, in combination with the weather forecast would equip the farmers to handle and manage their crops better.
For example, Water Watch Cooperative, a Netherlands based organization, has developed a disease alert system that sends an alarm to farmers, if the probability of a pest/disease would be detected.
Similarly, systems that detect the amount of water to be provided to a field based on the field water content, biomass, and rainfall probability, would aid in the optimization of water provision to the crop and ensure efficient crop management.
By Siddhi Jain
The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.
Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.
Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background
'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash
Written for a global audience, the book is targeted at kids between the ages of five and 10, the reason it is embellished with colourful images of families of different types is to appeal to children's sense of sight and drive home the message at the same time. Borthakur believes children are the best place to start because the ages between five and 10 are the most formative, where little ones pick up habits, beliefs and perceptions.
The Guwahati-born author says, "With this book, I'm not trying to take away the job of parents in forming habits, I simply want to do my part as a parent. It is important that we impart the right values in our kids in a bid to build a better, more inclusive and tolerant global society that is fair to everyone." The author's first attempt at a book was an Assamese poetry 'Anubhav', published in 2010.
Set to be published under the label of Author's Channel, the book is like an adventure; a journey into uncharted territories, untouched subjects and matters long ignored. In her words. "The book takes a critical stand in defense of people in society who have had to undergo severe emotional torture for no cause of theirs. It is a terrible conception to think such people any less of a human just for being different," says publisher Aruna Naidu. By September 30, this title, priced at Rs 299, will be available online and in offline bookstores. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Book, children, Guwahati, Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories, moral, story, kids, discrimination, equality
If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.
Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:
* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.
You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash
* Clip your nails regularly: Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. After cutting your nails at a comfortable length also file them using a nail filer. Never share your nail care clipper as the germs can get transferred to your loved ones. Also, don't forget to use grime remover to remove hidden germs in corners and beneath nails. Also, you may like to file your nails to have a smooth finish.
* Good quality Nail Clipper: Do not use a rusted or chromium coated nail clipper as it might be harmful to skin and might cause dangerous bacterial infections.
* Stop the habit of nail chewing: Sometimes anxiety or extreme boredom can lead to chewing of nails. This habit only makes your nails uneven and ugly. Sometimes, our unclean nail folds give rise to viral, bacterial or fungal infections, which in turn can make us sick if we chew our nails.
Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. | Pixabay
* Exfoliate your hands: Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. You can buy a scrub or make one at home using brown sugar and olive oil. After scrubbing, you need to massage your hands with moisturizer.
Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. | Wikipedia
* Don't use your nails as tools: Always keep in mind that your nails are like jewels. Never use them to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters, or scraping off labels. This results in unnecessary breakage of nails, making your hands look dirty.
Never use your nails to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters or scraping off labels. | Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash
* Be aware of nail or cuticle inflammation or redness: If there are any signs of infection, disinfect the skin as soon as possible with an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment.
(Article originally written by N.Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Nails, groom, hand, exfoliate, chew, nail clipper, bite, cuticle
Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.
Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold
Bitcoin is projected to grow by 10 times its current value in five years, i.e., it could reach $500,000. Of course, this will require companies to invest in cryptocurrencies. This makes it necessary to increase the weight of Bitcoin on balance sheets through investments. One of the investment gurus who supports this prediction is Catherine Wood. Contrarily, Ray Dalio, despite being clear that relying on cash is not a good strategy, views Bitcoin with suspicion, although he calls for its investment. This behavior is due to the actions of governments against the cryptocurrency market.
If something is undoubted is the vertiginous increase that cryptocurrencies have had in general, they have risen more than 60% so far this year. So, even when some governments are trying to regulate cryptocurrencies, they will fail. This attempt to regulate will end up triggering even more cryptos, especially Bitcoin, which is the oldest and most solid of that market.
Bitcoin, is the oldest and most solid of the market. | Photo by Executium on Unsplash
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The current Bitcoin price means is time to buy:
The current price of bitcoin invites you to buy, and perhaps it would be foolhardy not to. In either case, bitcoin will always represent money. Maybe some external factors generate some misgivings, but if you refuse to invest in cryptocurrencies, you are basically denying the near future, it would be as if you didn't have a cell phone or internet.
In India, more and more people are becoming convinced of the benefits of holding some Bitcoin. This can be clearly seen in the rapid increase in the number of new accounts at crypto exchanges such as WazirX and CoinDCX.
ALSO READ: How can you trade in Bitcoin in India?
Bitcoin, despite its fluctuations, represents an excellent financial strategy. The support users give is significant. The same cannot be said of the FIAT currencies, which have lost value and support, showing how fragile they are, being subjected to a constant devaluation. As long as confidence in cryptos grows, the foundations will continue to be laid to maintain their rise and to be able to continue making transactions. We know this by previous experience, as has happened with Ether, thanks mainly to the growing activity of Defi and NFT, i.e. decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens.
Remember that when you invest in Bitcoin, you can do it by buying or trading. When you want to make these transactions do it in a secure Exchange, study your finances to invest, manage the risk, and learn to manage your portfolio efficiently.