Wednesday November 20, 2019
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Know About The Psychologists Team Helping To Prevent Farmers’ Suicides in Parts of Telangana

"The farmers are victims of circumstances, economic disparity and farm related issues. With no way to repay their loans, they suffer harassment at the hands of private money lenders and banks and the constant worry of how will I repay debts and manage my family haunts them."

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"Sometimes, farmers in distress may not approach us as seeking help is considered a stigma. Then we decided to have field teams who would speak to farmers," she said. Pixabay

Not satisfied with her cozy job at a corporate hospital here, a psychologist joined a team that is helping to prevent farmers’ suicides in parts of Telangana.

Shruti Naik wanted to explore the area of rural distress and found the task more challenging.

Her experience in three districts of Telangana that reported the highest cases of farmers’ suicides in the country has helped her understand the problem.

“I realized how severe the problem is and how misconceptions get propagated in the outside world,” Naik told IANS at the office of the ‘Kisan Mitra’ helpline at Tarnaka here.

farmer
The problems of tenant farmers is a huge issue in Telangana. They are not covered under the ‘Rythu Bandhu’ scheme being implemented by the state government to provide investment support of Rs 8,000 per acre per year. Pixabay

“The farmers are victims of circumstances, economic disparity and farm related issues. With no way to repay their loans, they suffer harassment at the hands of private money lenders and banks and the constant worry of how will I repay debts and manage my family haunts them.”

Kisan Mitra, run by Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, an NGO, provides last mile delivery of services to farmers with respect to their entitlements. It serves as a bridge between government and farmers and tries to see that issues faced by farmers are resolved which otherwise would make them to go into distress.

It was started in 2017 in Vikarabad district at the initiative of then District Collector Divya Devarajan, who suggested that the NGO should take up the matter.

However, they realized that it was not just the helpline which was required.

“Sometimes, farmers in distress may not approach us as seeking help is considered a stigma. Then we decided to have field teams who would speak to farmers,” she said.

The helpline expanded its activity to Adilabad, a backward district bordering Maharashtra, after Devarajan was transferred there as the Collector. Subsequently, it also began its activities in Mancherial district.

“We have so far received 8,000 calls relating to problems like land issues, crop related, payments, loans and banker-related issues. We tried to resolve 4,000 cases. Not all were in distress. The idea is to solve problems before they go into distress,” said Naik.

She heads a team of seven members, all women. The counselors who receive the calls take down the details of the farmers and forward them to the respective field-level coordinators for follow-up.

It is also working with the government to rehabilitate the families of farmers who committed suicide. On International Women’s Day last year in Adilabad district, it called a meeting of 120 widows and their families. They were provided alternative livelihood with the government’s support.

farmer
“If they get some handholding they will do well. If they are helped in areas like minimum support price and if there is some awareness created about debt management, they will not resort to suicides.” Pixabay

The problems of tenant farmers is a huge issue in Telangana. They are not covered under the ‘Rythu Bandhu’ scheme being implemented by the state government to provide investment support of Rs 8,000 per acre per year.

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Studies show that 75 per cent of farmers who commit suicide in Telangana are tenant farmers. Kisan Mitra has helped 5,000 tenant farmers in Adilabad obtain loan eligibility cards. It negotiated with some bankers to form joint liability groups with 4-5 in each group. The groups were provided loans of Rs 1 lakh each.

Naik believes depression among farmers is a consequence of circumstances and farm and finance related issues. “If they get some handholding they will do well. If they are helped in areas like minimum support price and if there is some awareness created about debt management, they will not resort to suicides,” she said. (IANS)

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According to NCRB Report, Suicide Rates in India Saw a Decline in 2016 with 10.3%

As per the report, the rate of accidental deaths (per lakh of population) has remained unchanged at 32.8 per cent in 2016

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The Suicide rate in cities in 2016 was 13 per cent as compared to the all-India suicide rate of 10.3 per cent. Pixabay

The all-India suicide rate per lakh population saw a decline in 2016 with 10.3 per cent Suicide cases reported compared to the 10.6 per cent lodged in 2015, the annual ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India’ (ADSI) data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) said.

The major causes of suicides are due to family problems not related to marriage (29.2 per cent) and ‘illness’ (17.1 per cent), marriage related issues (5.3 per cent) and drug abuse or alcohol addiction (4 per cent), said the ADSI-2016 report furnished by 36 states and Union Territories (UTs) and 53 Metropolitan Cities (which have a population of 1 million or 10 lakh or more as per the population Census, 2011) by State Crime Records Bureaus and Crime Investigation Departments.

The suicide rate in cities in 2016 was 13 per cent as compared to the all-India suicide rate of 10.3 per cent.

As per the report, the rate of accidental deaths (per lakh of population) has remained unchanged at 32.8 per cent in 2016.

A total of 8,684 deaths occurred in the country due to causes attributable to forces of nature during 2016. Of these accidental deaths, 38.2 per cent deaths occurred due to ‘Lightning’, 15.4 per cent deaths due to ‘Heat or Sun Stroke’ and 8.9 per cent deaths due to ‘Flood’.

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The major causes of Suicide Cases are due to family problems not related to marriage (29.2 per cent) and ‘illness’ (17.1 per cent), marriage related issues (5.3 per cent) and drug abuse or alcohol addiction (4 per cent). Pixabay

A total of 4,09,537 persons died in accidental deaths due to ‘Other Causes’ (not attributable to nature) during 2016. The major causes of accidental deaths were ‘Traffic Accidents’ (43.4 per cent), ‘Sudden Deaths’ (10.2 per cent), ‘Drowning’ (7.3 per cent), ‘Poisoning’ (5.6 per cent), ‘Falls’ (4.2 per cent) and ‘Accidental Fire’ (4.1 per cent).

While releasing the data, the NCRB clarified that it only compiles and collates the information and presents it in the form of this report. The NCRB is not responsible for the authenticity of the information, as data is being furnished by states and UTs.

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It said that the data collection for ADSI-2017 and 2018 reports was initiated in July this year and the reports are planned to be released by December 31. (IANS)