High farmer suicide rate a result of economic policies: P Sainath

September 7, 2013

Mangalore, Sep 7: Karnataka ranks second for the highest number of farmer suicides in the country with 39,000 suicides since 1995. Overwhelmingly, the suicide-committing farmers are cash crop farmers, said Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu P Sainath.

Delivering the second oration titled 'Corporate Hijack of Indian Agriculture' in the first B V Kakkilaya Inspired Orations - 2013, P Sainath, recipient of Ramon Magsaysay award, said that this was the result of the huge change that took place in farming, i.e. converting from cultivating food crops to cash crops. As there is greater cultivation of cash crops, there's a greater control by corporates in farming and the costs of cultivation are shooting through the roof as input prices go up. And every damage has been driven by economic policies,” he said, adding that the high farmer suicide rate was a result of growing inequality economic policies.

“The suicide rate is 47 percent higher among farmers than non-farmers. The highest number of suicides is by cotton farmers. Although the official figure states that about 2.85 lakh farmers have committed suicide since 1995, the figure excludes large number of women and Dalit farmers. Thousands of women farmers are excluded while calculating suicide rates, as the society does not consider women as farmers,” he said.

Quoting Ravindranath Tagore, Mr Sainath said that “Food is the source of wealth; food production is a source of endless misery.”

“When the Arab Spring that occurred in countries such as Yemen, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia in 2010, it did not occur due to Twitter. All these countries including India had seen giant increases in food prices since 2008, and all the while food and related companies continued to make profit. Food companies ranked at the top of the Fortune List of most profitable companies in 2009, when the world was hungry. Harvesting crops such as hunger and thirst is what the corporate world and corporate-driven society do,” he said.

He said that the West wanted us to cultivate cash crops to make us more dependent on them, as cash crops commodities are controlled by corporations at the global level. Corporatisation of agriculture is growing worse in India, he said, adding that we have to re-think the entire process of agriculture and move away from extremely critical techniques.

“In growing inequality, what has happened in agriculture is the extreme case of what has been happening in the rest of the country. We need to de-link ourselves from high-input and high-cost economy and lower the cost of agriculture,” he said.

A special 10-day session should be conducted in the Parliament specifically for agriculture, he opined.

The third edition of 'Bara Andre Ellarigoo Ishta', Kannada translation of Sainath's book 'Everybody Loves a Good Drought' was released on the occasion by K Phaniraj.

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July 22,2021

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Mangaluru, Jul 22: Following the heavy rains continued to batter Kalyana Karnataka, coastal and Maland districts On Thursday leading to loss of life and properties.

The metrological department predicted very heavy rains expected few more days across the state.

All reservoirs across the state reaching their maximum level with inflows of rivers in Krishna and Cauvery basins.

A 33-year-old woman died after a portion of her house wall collapsed on her at Kumarchincholi in Humnabad taluk, Bidar district. Parvathi Vaijnath's husband and their two children have suffered serious injuries in the incident.

Belagavi district police had to pull out a car that got stuck in a ditch on the Kolhapur highway near Rani Channamma University in Belagavi on July 22.

Several houses in the district have suffered partial damage due to prolonged wet weather.

Kalaburagi city experienced drizzle through the day. The non-stop drizzling affected normal life in the city. Mantagi stream, which drains into the Amarja river, is in full spate in Aland taluk.

The dead bodies of Manikamma and Pralhad Dodla, who have swept away in the overflowing Kagina river in separate incidents are yet to be traced despite search operations for the past three days.

Parts of Yadgir, Raichur and Koppal districts also witnessed good showers in the day. Meanwhile, the Krishna river and its tributaries have been receiving copious inflows following the incessant rain in their catchments in Khanapur taluk and the Konkan belt of Maharashtra.

As many as six of nine bridge-cum-barrages in Chikkodi and Nippani taluks, Belagavi district, have gone underwater despite no discharges from Maharashtra dams.

Following night long heavy down power landslides have been reported on National Highway 75 near Donigal in Sakaleshpur taluk in Hassan district. The vehicular movement on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru highway has been hit. The local administration has stopped the movement of heavy vehicles on the stretch. Last year during heavy rains, a landslip had occurred at this stretch.
Meanwhile, the intensity of rain has come down considerably in the coastal and Malnad districts, with the exception of Kodagu.

The hilly district continued to see sharp showers intermittently. Madikeri, Napoklu, Bhagamandala, Talacauvery and Mukkodlu regions received intermittent rains on Wednesday. Harangi reservoir level touched 2,855.66 feet mark, just four feet short of reaching its full reservoir level. The weather department has predicted heavy showers for four Malnad and three coastal districts for the next two days. A yellow alert has been sounded for the aforementioned districts on Thursday and Friday.

A Mangaluru report said the Sea erosion has intensified in Someshwar, Uchila and Battappady near Ullal. Over 30 houses in these areas are in danger.

Even a road here has been damaged and since this morning huge tidal waves are lashing the shores. The mighty waves have already washed away many coconut trees in the area and residents are living amid fear.

Vehicular traffic on the Shiradi Ghat stretch of road has been affected after a landslide was reported on Thursday. Those travelling towards Bengaluru have been advised to use alternate roads.

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August 4,2021

Mangaluru, Aug 4: The deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada has banned the entry of devotees in three prominent temples of the district during weekends in the wake of fresh spike in covid-19 cases in the region. 

The three places of worship are Kukke Subrahmanya Temple, Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple and Sri Kshethra Dharmasthala.

Besides, these temples will be open for devotees only from 7 am to 7 pm during the weekdays from August 5 to 15. 

A large number of devotees from outside the district and state visit these temples during weekends.

There is a threat of spread of covid-19, said Deputy Commissioner Dr Rajendra K V. During the weekdays, the devotees can only have darshan of the deities in the temple. Sevas will not be held. Theerthaprasada and meals will not be served to the devotees, said the DC.

During the weekends, none will be allowed to stay in the lodges of the temples. Only priests can perform the puja during the weekends without devotees. Those who wish to stay in the lodges near the temples during weekdays, then they will have to produce RTPCR negative certificate not older than 72 hours mandatorily, said the DC.

All the rooms in the lodges should be sanitised and wearing masks is mandatory. During the weekdays, the devotees should wear mask and maintain social distance while visiting temples, added the DC.

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July 21,2021

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Mangaluru, July 21: Congress veteran and former union minister Oscar Fernandes’ health condition continued to be critical on Wednesday despite showing slight improvement in intensive care unit. 

“There was slight improvement in his condition with movement in his hands and legs,” said Congress leader and former minister M B Patil, who visited the hospital in Mangaluru where Fernandes is undergoing treatment. A team of expert doctors from Udupi and Manipal are monitoring his health condition.

Former union minister Janardhan Poojary too visited the hospital to enquire on the health condition of Oscar Fernandes.

Patil said that if required, telemedicine facility would also be arranged for his treatment. He said that Congress President Sonia Gandhi and senior leader Rahul Gandhi are in touch with Fernandes' family and are enquiring about his health.

The 80-year-old veteran leader sustained a head injury while performing yoga at his residence. He had visited Yenepoya hospital for his routine dialysis and during the check-up he was found to be suffering from clot in his brain on Tuesday and was shifted to ICU. 

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