The Tragedy of Farmers’ Suicides in Vidarbha:

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Topics: Suicide, Maharashtra
THE GRAVITY OF THE PROBLEM AND BACKDROP

This section deals with the entire issue in general. What is the problem? Where is problem enacted?

2.1 WHAT DO THE SUICIDE STATISTICS SAY? IS THERE AN ISSUE?

Is the scenario of suicides as bleak as it is made out to be in the press? Some of the data reflected in the YASHADA study report compels us to think that the suicide problem in Vidarbha region is not as grim as is the case in Kerala. What do the actual numbers show? The following table, constructed from figures reflected in the YASHADA report, drives a point in respect of the Suicide Mortality Rate (SMR) {which is average no of suicides for one lack of population per year} of some relevant re rate figures for different areas which stands for the.

|Region |SMR |
|Maharashtra average |14 |
|National average |10 |
|Kerala average |33 |
|Western developed countries |20 to 40 |

The figures point out that the figure for Maharashtra is certainly greater than the national average, however the alarm bells should be ringing more loudly in Kerala and in other advanced nations of the world than in Maharashtra and that too by a wide margin. There seems to be an even graver reason in these areas which therefore needs even more serious consideration… As far as Maharashtra goes from these figures it appears as if the issue has been bought into focus out of turn and we could list a few possible causes for this. a) Political activists are milking the issue of Vidarbha regionalism to generate an emotive issue that can make a difference in the political sphere. They are hence playing the suicide card to the hilt. b) The farmers want themselves heard since they have some genuine problems. The discussion of the suicide trends is

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