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Economist Kelkar to meet Vidarbha farmers

Maharashtra,Business/Economy, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 IANS

Nagpur, April 5 (IANS) Economist Vijay Kelkar will Friday visit Yavatmal in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and speak to farmers and widows of debt-burdened peasants for a review on the imbalance of progress, an activist said here Thursday.


"As a single man committee, Kelkar will speak and interact with farmers and farm widows of the region in Yavatmal town and look into the last 52 years of imbalance of progress and regional backlog resulting in mass genocide of Vidarbha dry land farmers," said Kishor Tiwari, president of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), an group working for cotton farmers.


"Kelkar is visiting Yavatmal to gather details on a special report he is working on regarding the ongoing agrarian crisis that has claimed more than 10,000 cotton farmers' lives. The report will then be submitted to the governor of Maharashtra," Tiwari added.


Tiwari expressed concern over such visits and the subsequent inaction on part of the state and central governments.


He hoped that Kelkar, who hails from Akola in Maharashtra, will be aware of the ground reality.


"We will demand a separate state of Vidarbha as that is the only option left in order to save three million debt-trapped cotton farmers or the region where one peasant is committing suicide every eight hours," Tiwari said.


On March 2, a 37-member parliamentary standing committee headed by Basudeb Acharia visited the Vidarbha region over farmers' suicides.


As many as 918 peasants from the region ended their lives in 2011 because of the agrarian crisis.


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