Support and Protect welfare of drought hit Indian Farmers
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The Indian community in Sacramento hosted a reception to honor Justice Markandey Katju, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India on March 25th 2017 at Masonic Center in Folsom, CA. The audience included office bearers and representatives from Indian Association of Sacramento and Sacramento Tamil Mandrum. Justice Katju addressed the audience on the current plight of Indian farmers especially the Tamil Nadu farmers.Thereafter the Indian community of Sacramento passed a unanimous resolution in support of farmers of India who are suffering financially, emotionally and physically owing to crop failures caused by the failure monsoon, compounded by the failure of the government in providing them with sustainable solution for irrigation, providing infrastructure and technology.
IT WAS FURTHER RESOLVED that a petition be circulated to and signed by NRIs all over the world addressed to the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi, Chief Ministers of the concerned states( ccd below) and to UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the UN Human Rights commission in support of the suffering farmers of India, and :
IT WAS FURTHER RESOLVED:
- That, farmers in ten states including but not limited to Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh in India are in great distress due to prolonged drought contributed by failure of monsoon and lack of alternate water sources for effective agricultural management, resulting in several cycles of crop failures across multiple agricultural seasons. The farmers of Tamil Nadu are facing the worst drought in 150 years with the Northeast monsoon recording a 62% deficit of normal rainfall. The current plight of farmers in distress throughout India is also owing to mounting debt caused by local money lenders charging exorbitant interest rates, which is often illegal. Also, the cost of pesticides, fertilizers, farm equipment and electricity has risen dis-proportionately, making Farming a highly uneconomical exercise. Various state governments have also failed to eradicate middle men acting as buy side brokers eating into profits of farmers, further compounding farmer’s misery.
- That, this has caused an immense amount of financial, emotional and physical duress to Indian farmers who toil in the fields, day in and day out to bring food on our table. In 2014, the National Crime Records Bureau of India reported 5,650 farmer suicides largely due to prolonged droughts, insufficient or risky credit systems, the difficulty of farming semi-arid regions, poor agricultural income, absence of alternative income opportunities.
- That, this monumental calamity, much greater than the one described by the American writer John Steinbeck in his famous novel ' Grapes of Wrath ' or the great Hindi writer Munshi Premchand in his famous novel ' Godaan ', calls for immediate help on a massive scale by the Govt. of India and the governments of the concerned states both financially and providing support via other governmental means and machinery to support farmers and farming during these difficult times.
- That, we raise our voices against alleged apathy exhibited by the Government of India towards the suffering of farmers, especially the Tamil Nadu farmers who have been peacefully protesting in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar from Feb 2017. It is heart wrenching to see them seated with skulls of fellow farmers who died of suicide, the past year. The farmers demand justice and require support of Government of India and their respective state governments.
- That, despite the reports submitted by various institute after inquiring into farmer suicides, the chief causes of government's apathy to this cause, the absence of a safety net for farmers, and lack of access to information related to agriculture, remains unchanged for decades.
- That, the Government of India and concerned state governments must re-visit to improve upon existing agrarian and water management measures, policies and schemes to ensure that impact to farmers due to occurrence of drought, reduced and the scale of impact minimized.
- That, the Government of India provide: Immediate relief packages to the drought farmers and financial aid the concerned State Governments.
Regulations to help prevent farmer suicides and harassment by loan sharks.
Enact laws to regulate farmer loan terms. Make it illegal for non-licenses moneylenders from lending at nonstandard (national bank) terms to, and seeking loan repayment from farmers.
Set up Debt relief commissions to inquire into reasons causing distress to farmers.
Regulate the purchase of produces directly from farmers thereby eradicating intermediary middle men.
Set up crop storage and cold storage facilities to safeguard harvested produce.
Provide improved and efficient transportation/logistics facilities to reduce shipment time and reduce transportation costs/overheads for farmers.
- That, the Government’s assistance should also go beyond assistance in paying off outstanding principal and interest owed by the farmers since debt relief just postpones the problem and a more lasting answer to farmer distress can only come from reliable income sources, higher crop yields per hectare, irrigation and other infrastructure.
- That, we also appeal to the United Nations' appropriate agencies, and the international community, to come to the Indian farmers' help immediately.
- That, this resolution should be treated as a petition to the Govt. of India and concerned state governments and to the United Nations.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N
UN Human rights Commission
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister of Gujarat
Chief Minister of Maharashtra
Chief Minister of Telangana
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
Chief Minister of Maharashtra
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister of Karnataka
Chief Minister of Bihar
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