January 7, 2017 2:20:04 am
The number of farmers committing suicide in the six suicide-prone districts of Vidarbha— Amravati, Akola, Buldana, Washim, Yavatmal and Wardha — declined by 155 in 2016 compared to 2015. The numbers counted meticulously since 2006 had continued to fall from the 2006 peak of 1449 to 805 in 2013. It again rose to 964 in 2014 and to the second highest peak of 1348 in 2015. These, incidentally, were the worst drought years in recent history of the region. Year 2016 was a good monsoon year and saw the numbers drop to 1193.
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The most spectacular drop was witnessed in the most suicide-prone Yavatmal district, which had recorded its highest suicide count of 386 in 2015.
The district witnessed 276 suicides in 2016, a drop of 110 from 2015.
Yavatmal and Osmanabad were the two districts where the government had launched special programme called Baliraja Chetana Abhiyaan in which hundreds of different programmes and schemes were implemented. The programme didn’t succeed much in Osmanabad, where the count has reportedly come down from 164 to 162.
The only two districts that showed an upward trend were Amravati, where the number went up from 306 to 323 and Buldana, where it went up from 189 to 228.
Incidentally, Buldana was the district that had shown the biggest drop in 2013 and 2014 when the suicide number had gone down to 111 from the peak of 306 it witnessed in 2006. The corresponding figures of 2015 and 2016 for Akola were 195 and 154, for Washim 108 and 87 and Wardha 164 and 125.
The 2016 figures, however, are in tune with the general trend observed in these six districts where the suicide count is higher in the second half of the year. While in the first half, there were 537 suicides, the second half witnessed 656 suicides.
These, however, are absolute figures that include both “eligible” and “ineligible” cases, meaning, those adjudged as related to agriculture and those for reasons other than agriculture. The eligible-ineligible trend has seen a reverse change from 2014 when the eligible cases started outnumbering the ineligible ones.
This year so far, 533 suicides have been adjudged as eligible and 572 ineligible and 105 cases are still under scrutiny.
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