‘Grant Me Permission to Kill Myself’: Agra Farmer Returns Rs 2,000 Received Under PM-KISAN to CM Adityanath
The farmer, Pradeep Sharma, reportedly has a debt of Rs 35 lakh.
An anguished, debt-ridden farmer from Agra has reportedly sent the first instalment of Rs 2,000 received under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi(PM-KISAN) to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath along with a letter demanding permission for euthanasia.
Per a report by Deepak Lavania in the Times of India, thirty-nine year old Pradeep Sharma, who is under a debt of Rs 35 lakhs, said he was exhausted waiting for the promised compensation for crop loss for the past four years. “I have sent a money order of Rs 2,000 to CM Yogi Adityanath. I am under Rs 35 lakh debt and if the CM can’t help me, he can at least grant me permission to kill myself,” he is quoted as saying.
Sharma told ToI that he and his family have been struggling to survive every day. He reportedly said that he has written to government authorities in the past as well, but in vain. “Earlier, too, I had written to the district administration and the state government seeking help, but never received a reply. In December last year, I had gone to Delhi to meet Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh but returned empty handed from there too,” he said, reported TOI.
Reportedly, in the grievance redressal meetings held recently, Sharma had raised the issue of crop loss and compensation with the district administration officials. However, his requests were conveniently ignored during these occasions too, despite having submitted the various documents required, he reportedly said.
According to the report, Sharma said that the pressure of deb thad caused a relative of his to die of a heart attack in 2015. Sharma told ToI, “When my uncle died of heart attack in 2015 due to farm debts, I brought the matter to the notice of administration officials but nobody came forward to help. Due to bad weather, I suffered crop loss in 2016 and my father died of cancer in 2017. Already under debt, I couldn’t give him proper medication. Now, I have sent the money order to the CM and perhaps he will understand me.”
Shyam Singh Chahar, a leader of a farmer’s group, told ToI that Sharma is one of the many farmers in the area who are distressed due to crop failure. “He (Sharma) has suffered major losses and needs to be supported by the government. There are other farmers too in the district who have not been compensated for crop loss,” he reportedly said.
Mohammad Aamir, general secretary of Potato Producers’ Association, said that farmers in the region need immediate government assistance. “Around 40% of the total potato production in the country takes place in U.P. Agra district alone grows potato in over 72,000 hectares and farmers here are struggling to somehow retain their investments. They are being burdened with bank loans and the state and central governments must start immediate relief schemes for them. Ex-gratia payment of Rs 400 per quintal potato should be approved by the government,” he is quoted as saying.