» 09/04/2006, 00.00
Maharashtra: three farmers commit suicide every day due to poverty, usury
In August, the richest state of the Union recorded more than 100 suicides among farmers. They said "this is the worst situation ever" but the government said "two or three months" are needed for things to improve.
Mumbai (AsiaNews/Agencies) More than 100 cotton growers killed themselves in India's richest state of Maharashtra in August, because it is impossible for them to repay their debts to the government and to loan sharks who exploit their poverty.
The figure is a sad record for the nation, bringing to nearly 1000 the number of suicides committed in the first eight months of the year for the same reason. Delhi has launched a highly publicised funding program to ease the tax burdens weighing heavily on farmers' shoulders, but no results are in evidence.
According to government statistics, nearly 4,000 growers committed suicide in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala in the last five years. But independent estimates put the toll much higher, as much as 18,000. The act of ultimate despair is always motivated by the victims' inability to provide the basic necessities for themselves and their families.
Activists seeking to help the farmers say the "situation is currently worse than ever". "The rate of suicide is about three per day," said Sharad Joshi, chief of Shetkari Sangathan, a growers' union. "The government suppresses facts for obvious reasons, but we have names of each and every farmer who committed suicide."
Kishor Tiwari, a human rights activist said the government "has made no effort to get to the root of the problem. Whatever campaigns are announced never go to the heart of the matter, they only tackle side issues."
In July, the government promised to allocate 400 million dollars to be distributed as one-off loans, as well as reduction of interest and restructuring of debts, plus a one-year moratorium on loan repayments from farmers.
Prime Minister of the Union, Manmohan Singh, said "the economic reforms package to stop suicides will take two or three months to show results".
Caritas to tackle tragedy of suicides among farmers
The Indian Church is committed to bringing down the number of farmers who kill themselves because they are in debt. From today, a national conference will discuss ways and means of applying a program "Save Farmers-Save India". Attention is focused on Maharashtra: there have been at least 962 suicides in five months.
962 farmers commit suicide in Maharashtra
Despite government pledges and funds for aid, a desperate situation continues to plague farmers in the richest state of the Indian Union.
A Caritas Campaign: “Save the farmers, Save India”
Caritas India will launch a national campaign in April with the slogan, “Save the farmers, Save India” in order to help the regretful phenomenon, which is spreading across the country: suicides amongst farmers. The loss of crops and insurmountable debt has driven farmers into poverty and desperation. They see suicide as the only way to salvation.
04/08/2016 11:05:00 INDIA
New tax on goods: the economy will grow by 2%
The upper house of parliament yesterday approved the "Goods and Services Tax". The law simplifies the intricate Indian tax system, which varies from state to state. With a single tax on the entire territory domestic trade will be encouraged and exports will be more competitive.
Christians want to join the Congress as candidates for the elections in Maharashtra
This political interest is a new fact, Very often the Christians sought refuge in the ghettos, with no interest in the problems of the nation. More harmony with the Congress, but this request for representation has been made to all the other parties.
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"
John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
The "enemies" of Pope Francis
The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."
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