HYDERABAD: Reviving the mandate mentioned in the Government Order passed in 2004 to prevent farmer suicides, Divya Devarajan, collector of Vikarabad, in association with farmer resource organisations, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) and Rythu Swarajya Vedika (RSV) has launched a distress helpline for farmers in the district on Friday.
The collector said that though Vikarabad is close to Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts, it is agriculturally backward as there are no irrigation projects in the district.
“As per reports in the media, a total of 118 farmers committed suicides since the formation of Telangana. We conducted a district-level meeting with five small-scale farmers from every mandal and they said that there was no one to guide them when they were in distress,” said Devarajan.
While most of them feel victimised by middlemen, a lot of them also undergo psychological stress.
The helpline addresses each of these problems and they will be routed to the concerned department. A mandal-level committee consisting of tehsildar, sub-inspector of police, mandal development officer and agricultural officer will review the calls every week and decide on action that needs to be taken.
“Volunteers working with adult education department and local self help groups will make a visit to farmers’ homes and conduct an inquiry and a report will be submitted,” said Kiran Vissa from CSA. The objective is not just to solve immediate problems but to analyse the trend of issues, create a database and find solutions to problems.
“This is only a revival of the helpline with a better technology to create a database of problems and solutions. The 12-hour helpline from 8 am to 8 pm will also help look at systemic problems,” said Devarajan.