By Odisha Story Bureau, Bhubaneswar:
- Ex MLA Bikram Barma’s anti-farmer slogan surfaces on walls of Bhubaneswar
- Barma works as the President of Orissa Krushak Manch
As farming is becoming risky day by day in Odisha, farmers suicide is becoming a matter of grave concern. Moderate and untimely rainfall, flood, poor fertility, lack of financial support force small farmers to commit suicide. For last few years, almost every second day a farmer has committed suicide.
However ex-MLA from Mahanga constituency and senior BJD leader denied this major concern of the state terming it as totally fake. Anti-farmers slogans are being found on city walls with his name. The text on the walls reads as “Farmers Suicide, Totally Fake” or “Farmers Suicide, a Hoax”. Bikram Barma’s name is also seen with this wall texting.
Former State Seeds Corporation chairman Sri Barma was also a Principal for sometimes. He is also an author and column writer. Such a cheap statement from a senior leader like him is not expected. He was also apponted as State Cashew Corporation Chairman. Being President of Krushak Janata Dal from 1993 to 2000 and President of Orissa Krushak Manch from 2002 onward, Bikram Barma’s take on farmers suicide seems double standard.
In Odisha 1895 farmers committed suicide between 2005 and 2014, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). This number included 247 women farmers also. The NCRB report says, nearly 3 to 7 per cent of the total farmers who committed suicide in the nation between 2005 and 2014 were from Odisha.
Around 200 farmers committed suicide in Odisha in 2016. Parts of Western Odisha are more prone to farmers suicide.
According to researchers in University of California almost 60,000 farmers committed suicide in India in last 30 years due to climate change.