New Delhi, December 14
Forty-six farmers commit suicide every day in this country even as packages were rolled out in a bid to bailout the debt-ridden community from crisis. A whopping 16,632 cases of suicides by farmers, including 2,369 women were reported across the country last year with Maharashtra retaining the dubious distinction of having the largest number of such incidents despite a slump in figures.
Farmers’ suicide constituted 14.4 per cent of the total 1,22,637 suicides in the country in 2007, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) said in its latest report the Accidental Deaths and Suicide Report — 2007”. In 2006, the figures were 17,060 and since 1997 there were 1,82,936 cases of farmers” suicide in the country. In a grim reminder of the appalling conditions of the farmers in this agriculture-dominated country, the NCRB said besides Maharashtra, six other states have recorded over 1,000 cases of farmers” suicides each in 2007.
Maharashtra, where the Central Government pitched in with a special package, reported 4,238 suicides last year, a decline of 215 from 2006, it said.
Karnataka (2,135), Andhra Pradesh (1,797), Chhattisgarh (1,593), Madhya Pradesh (1,263), Kerala (1,263) and West Bengal (1,102) followed Maharashtra in the list. These states were in the top-seven list in 2006 too.
While Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh showed a decline in the number of farmers” suicide last year compared to 2006, such cases witnessed an increase in Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal and Tripura-in 2007. However, in 2006, only Manipur had zero cases of farmers’ suicide.
The national capital reported 23 cases of suicides by farmers, including one from the urban areas. While the metros of Mumbai and Kolkata did not have any such suicides, Chennai had 17. “The number of suicides by farmers may be more as in some cases the government want to project it otherwise to blunt criticism,” a senior police official said.
Among the cities, Bhopal topped the list with 30 cases followed by Chennai and Kanpur (11). Of the farmers who committed suicide, the largest chunk of 6,174, including 707 women, came from the age group of 30-44 years.
Ninety-five such cases were below the age of 14 years while the figures for 15-29 years were 4,063. Nearly 4,480 of such cases were reported in the age group of 45 and 59 years while 1,820 farmers above 60 years committed suicide. — PTI