VELLORE: The Vellore unit of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam (Sangam), led by Professor Chinnasamy, on the eve of Farmers’ Rights Day (July 5) to be observed across the State, has urged the State and Central governments to extend all possible support to the farming community and suggested several measures to further this goal.
Chinnasamy suggested the implementation of the long pending Thenpennai-Palar link project to revive the Palar River.
In a statement, district president of the unit, Kannaiyya Naidu, said that farming activity in the district has deteriorated due to dwindling water sources. The district has also become a rain-shadow in the last ten years, worsening the situation. The State government should therefore declare the Vellore district as drought-hit and extend all relief measures to affected farmers.
He pointed out that coconut and mango trees which once used to be the staple crops of farmers have withered due to extreme climatic conditions and the continued pollution of water sources. The State government should therefore provide relief assistance of `20,000 per acre to all farmers.
The loans taken by farmers in the district should be waived by the State and the Central governments.
Naidu said that the State-unit of the Sangam is also organizing a State-level conference for farmers to place before the State government, various grievances for redress and remedial measures.
The day will also be marked by paying homage to 23 farmers who were shot dead by the police during the agitations for free electricity in 1972 under the leadership of C Narayanasamy, the then president of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam.
In a statement, district secretary of the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, affiliated to the All India Kisan Sabha, R Mullai, said thousands of farmers sacrificed their lives agitating against cultivation of cash crops as against traditional food crops insisted upon by the British since 1857. These agitations have not come to light and farmers have been silently suffering on several fronts since then. July 5 is the day to pay homage to such brave farmers across the country. Farmers alone provide food security for a country whose population is growing every year and it is the responsibility of the State and the
Central governments to extend all support and care for this community, Mullai pointed out.