SRI BALA BHARATHI
Address of the Organization
Mr. Y. Sambi Reddy
President and Project Director
Title of the Project: Rehabilitation of Families of Suicide Farmers
A considerable number of Small and Marginal Farmers ended their lives due to various economic, social, political, individual and environmental causes. Our study reveals that there has been sharp increase in the dependence on loans to enable cultivation. The tendency to take loans increased in the nineties. The farmers took their first loan from banks (banks gave loan only once, with a further loan possible only after repayment of the outstanding loan). The later loans were from private parties to repay the bank loan (default of which would result in attachment of the land or mortgaged house). Even for those with an ability to get loan from the formal sector, access to informal sector loans was indispensable. Thus, over 75% of the farmers had loan commitments to non-formal sources.
Those farmers who faced repeated crop failures accumulated loans beyond their capacity to repay. Thus, most of victims had turned defaulters over the last four years. This points to a serious crisis as reflected in the absence of the support system to bail the farmers out, in the form of relatives, neighbors, banks and even the moneylenders who had stopped giving the loans to them lately. Many farmers tried to diversify their employment opportunities with new loans. Some had gone in for purchase of tractors in order to rent it out. Small and marginal sized landholders followed these strategies, but many did not succeed in their efforts, resulting in higher debt burdens.
These are the conditions and the contexts that forced the victims to take the extreme step of suicide.
The Survey points out that most of farmers, who committed suicide had been licensed cultivators (tenant farmers), who had taken a loan of Rs. 1lakh to 3 lakh from land owners and money lenders. Mounting debt and uncertainty of the harvest forced some of them to end their lives. The findings also vindicate the backwardness of the Palnadu region and 40 out of 64 suicides were reported from Palnadu. Of the 40 suicides, 8 farmers belonged to Sattenapalli mandal, 5 from Atchampet and 4 each from Krosuru and Amaravathi mandals. But these findings have been repudiated by the district, whose official records put the number of farmer suicides at 25. Ex gratia has been paid only to 12 farmers, showing the lack of commitment shown in addressing the issue.
The main concept of SRI BALA BHARATHI (SBB) is to make women as independent persons and to develop self-confidence and equality of opportunities. It is also making efforts to organize them for their better living by giving training, encouragement, guidance and lending support.
The experienced staff of SBB visited the families of suicide farmers several times and observed the living conditions of families who left by the bread winner. Most of the families are in despair and left fend themselves by the mercy of God. Especially our staff projected on the pathetic situation of young women headed families, analyzed their situation and chalked out a well coordinated plan of action to bring them out from the problems they are facing. It was clearly proposed to implement some self reliant program’s for their respectful living in the society.
SBB is secular, grass roots, non-government and not for profit organization established with a vision to rehabilitate the children of those who are abandoned and living in streets on 14th November, 1990 on the occasion of the birth day of Jawaharlal Nehru which was celebrated as “Children’s Day”. Jawaharlal Nehru was the modern Indian Architect and the first Prime Minister.
With firm faith in the word “Service to Children is Service to God”, the founder president has taken it as a motto and started working for the integrated development of neglected, abandoned and hapless children through rehabilitation and development. As a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) its mission is to provide care and protection to children through love, advocacy, education, rehabilitation and family support because it has committed to valuing the children and their families. It has also been involved in organizing the poor and disadvantaged communities for their integrated development with special emphasis on women empowerment.
The organization has been registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 with its base center at Guntur city. It has been steered and governed by the elected executive
body under the direction of founder president. The founder president won many accolades from the Government as well as from the public for the implementation of several ideal and exemplary programs for the development of children and underprivileged communities. Today the organization stands first in solving the social and humanitarian problems. It has proved social in nature and dynamic in action.
OBJECTIVES OF THE ORGANIZATION
PRESENT ACTIVITITES OF THE ORGANIZATION
DEMAND OF THE FARMERS COLLECTIVE
The farmers’ collective said the families of the farmers were already in debt before the season and were pushed into further debt of over Rs.1 lakh. Most of the loans were from informal sources and not from banks, leading to farmers facing more harassment besides paying high interest rates. Many farmers had taken land on lease, but did not have any loan eligibility cards. The collective has demanded a disaster package for all the farmers who have suffered crop failure, Rs.10, 000 per acre as compensation.
OPERATIONALIZATION OF THE PROJECT
People have varied opinions on suicides of farmers. Unless there is clarity on the deaths of farmers it is difficult to formulate the interventions for preventing or reducing farmer suicides. Some people says that the greediness to earn more money in short period through high yield variety who would consume more chemical fertilizers, pesticides have had bad impacts on their economic situation. So the SBB is trying to change the mind set of farmers through motivating the farming community from chemical based cultivation to organic based farming. Organic farming helps to food self reliance, rural development and nature conservation. The organization is also trying to upgrade the skills and methodologies of sustainable farming among the farming communities and much on sustainable use of bio-diversity, in terms of contribution to Agriculture. It is also realize raising people consciousness towards healthy food, ecology and pollution free environment through conventional farming and organic farming.
PROJECT OBJECTIVES OF THE PROPOSED:
Since, the main objective of the project is to rehabilitate the families of suicide farmers, the specific objectives of the project are…
OUT COME OF THE PROJECT
Pretty businesses, milch animals rearing, milk vending, Tailoring and Dress making and from all other non-farm based activities.
Financial requirement for the project has been worked out for 61 families of suicide farmers for one time. It is expected that these families mainstreamed during the project year.
NATURE OF THE BUSINESS
No. of Units
a) Vegetables and fruits selling
b) Provisions stores
c) Selling of sari’s and ready
made dresses for kids
Rs.10000.00 x 28 units
Milch animals rearing and milk vending
Rs. 25000.00 x 16 units
Tailoring and Dress Making
Rs. 20000.00 x 10 units
Foot wear business
Rs. 15000.00 x 10 units