Farmers in Maharashtra are reeling from severe mental stress and depression. Due to this, over 2,400 farmers had committed suicide between January to October 2017. Being unable to secure loan from banks, loss of crops, drought,, debt and family issues are the main reasons which are forcing the farmers to take the drastic step of ending their lives.
In order to help poor, debt-ridden farmers to get back on their feet again and curb farmer suicide in the state. The Maharashtra government has started ‘Project Prerana’ to reach out to the farmers.
Under this project Akola Government Medical College, had conducted a survey in seven talukas to find out how many farmers are suffering from mental illness and require immediate medical attention.
This is what the survey revealed:
- In all, 853 farmers from seven taluka’s have been found to be depressed or suffering from mental illness.
- Out of which, 234 farmers were facing from severe depression. These farmers were given medical aid at Akola Government Medical College.
- 443 farmers were moderately depressed and 176 needed counselling sessions to bring them out from depression.
- Other farmers and their families were counselled as well.
- Latest data with the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) shows until February 2018, 16,968 farmers have been diagnosed depressed. Of these a significant 58 per cent cases (9,905 farmers) are in Amravati, followed by Latur with 2,101 depression cases
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Rajkumar Chavan, a civil surgeon from Akola Government Medial College said, “We had done this survey through the ‘Asha’ workers. It was a door-to-door survey, in which we spoke to each and every farmer and his family members. The main reasons behind the depression were illness, not getting loan from banks, high debt, no of money for their daughter’s marriage etc. The farmers who were facing severe depression have been treated at the government hospital.”
The farmer suicide situation in Maharashtra looks grim. Though the state government run by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced a loan waiver, yet still depressed farmers are committing suicide.
The figure of 853 may appear small. But, this is the state of seven talukas in just one district. If you count the whole district and the state, this figure would go up to in lakhs. These figures are an eye opener for the BJP lead NDA government.