LUDHIANA, NOVEMBER 27: VIDHAN SABHA COMMITTEE ON RURAL SUICIDES INTERACTS WITH PAU EXPERTS. The Vidhan Sabha Committee on Rural Suicides in Punjab held an elaborated discussion with the economists and sociologists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The Chairman of the Committee, Sh Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria; members Sh Kuljit Singh Nagra and Sh Nazar Singh Manshahia interacted with Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice Chancellor, PAU and Dr Sukhpal Singh, Head, Department of Economics and Sociology and Co-ordinator of the ongoing project on Farmers’ and Agricultural Labourers’ Suicides in Punjab state. The faculty of the Department of Economics and Sociology including Dr Manjeet Kaur, Dr M.S. Sidhu and Dr H.S. Kingra also participated in the dialogue and explained the seriousness of the prevailing situation of rural economy of the state. Dr Dhillon raised the growth and development issue of Punjab economy, in general and agriculture sector, in particular. He suggested evolving a development model on the basis of land and water resources, population and dependency on agriculture. He said that there was a dire need to create awareness among farmers to live within their means and focus on enhancing profitability rather than productivity.Dr Sukhpal Singh gave a comprehensive presentation and apprised the committee of the incidence and magnitude of suicides among farmers and agricultural labourers and the reasons leading to this menace in Punjab during the last one and a half decade. He highlighted that the cotton crop failure since mid-1990s has been one of the major reasons for farmers and labourers debt, which forced them to commit suicides. The major suicide hit districts were Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda and Barnala, he told. The majority of suicides happened because of heavy debt burden, he observed, while informing that out of over 15,000 suicides during 2000-2015, around 83 per cent persons took their lives due to heavy debt. The small farmers were the main victims of the crisis with 76 per cent of the suicides committed by the farmers who had less than 5 acres of land, he disclosed. The education level of the suicide victims was very low as 43 per cent of farmers and 63 per cent of labourers were illiterate, he said.
Sh Kuljit Singh Nagra said rural people must be made aware of their income level and expenditure pattern.
Sh Sarkaria appreciated the efforts made by PAU team in undertaking door-to-door and village-to-village survey of farmers and labourers. He hoped that the information received from PAU experts would certainly be used for formulating suitable policy to address the agrarian crisis ofthe state.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook