MUMBAI: Troubled by drought for the second year in a row and the debt that has piled up against loans, 300-households of Taktoda village in Sengaon Taluka of Hingoli district in Marathwada, put their village up on sale. ‘CM, this village is for sale’ said a huge banner outside the Panchayat office even as 300 members sat down to draft a letter to CM Devendra Fadnavis on Friday, demanding the right to ‘mass euthanasia’ to escape the despair if the state won’t allow loan waiver or, crop insurance.
Taktoda is like any other village in water-starved Vidarbha region, but here, the 3,000-odd population holds the government to be ‘the biggest defaulter’, not the monsoon, which has failed them time and again.
Namdev Patange, 39, said, “The wells have gone dry. Crops have failed despite high input costs. With no water, investment in crops cannot be redeemed or loans repaid. What do we do with such land?”
Pundarik Shinde, 47, said, “People took loans of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh for farming and now cannot return it.” Said Pramod Chawke, 53, “With interest rates as high as Rs 15,000 per lakh and people failing to repay, there is desperation. That provoked the people to put the village up on sale”.
“It is the helpless situation that has made the farmers suicidal. We approached officials at all levels and failed to get help. The state has simply ignored us,” said Sarpanch of Taktoda, Pramod Patil. Maharashtra agriculture minister Dr Anil Bonde said, “The demands raised by the villagers show their anguish. The government is with them and we shall do everything possible to help them.”
Waive off all the farmer loans
Crop insurance to be paid in full
Set up the industrial unit in Hingoli
Waive loans from private financers
Accept demands or allow mass euthanasia