This article appeared in one of the earlier versions of The Colleger – the youth magazine where I have a column called ‘Jamming Session’. To subscribe to this magazine you can get in touch with – The Editor, Colleger at editor [@] thecolleger [.] com
In one of the most far reaching welfare schemes implemented in recent times, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy today distributed laptops to farmers from the Guntur, Medak and Karimnagar districts.
When this Ouchmytoe correspondent, who traveled with the Chief Minister in the State helicopter, wanted to know on what basis these districts were selected, he said: “These districts have faced the drought`s ire the last few decades. More than 250 farmers have committed suicide in the last six months.”
The CM went on to detail how lack of information on the latest farming methods was the reason behind the high suicide rate and not the accumulating debts.
“Our Govt is soon coming up with a website called www.happyandhrafarmer.com which will showcase all farming information. Whenever a farmer has doubts, he can connect to the internet, visit the site and get clarifications,” he added.
It is to be noted that recently, there have been a spate of suicides among the farming community in the region. The reasons are various – from failure of borewells, to high debts, to crop failure. The current scenario is just like suicides by cotton farmers of Telangana in 1997-98.
Since majority of the victims are from the highly productive 25-50 age group, the families left behind by the farmers are suffering. In most of the cases, the families have been driven to the streets. Mud roads, that is.
When asked what his Govt has done to ensure continuity for the affected families, the CM said: “That`s precisely why we had to ask our party workers to contribute their one day`s drinking expenses towards the cause, and get the families laptops.”
“These laptops are IBMs and not of any Chinese make. We have taken utmost care not to offend their sensibilities,” he added.