Profile Characteristics Of Suicide Committed Farmers Of Mahabubnagar District Of Telangana State

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Abstract

Agriculture sector plays an important role in the growth of a developing nation like India. It is well known that economies of developing countries are based on agriculture sector. In India, every year the farmers have to suffer huge losses either due to droughts, floods or damage by pests and diseases. In our country farmers commit suicides after getting upset by economic exploitation at the hands of land lords and money lenders. This phenomenon of farmer’s suicides linked to agrarian crisis. The present study was conducted in mahabubnagar district of Telangana state with 30 respondents. The respondents were suicide committed farmers. Simple random sampling method was followed in this study. From the study It was concluded that majority of the suicide committed respondent’s age was 42 to 46 years, were from OBC category, having own farming as occupation, with illiterate education, family type as nuclear and family size is low, less than 1-2 ha as land holding, having thatched house with low mass media exposure, extension contact, social participation and market facility. While majority of the respondents had indebtedness over 2 lakhs.

Introduction

In India, it is estimated that 16,000 farmers die by suicide each year, and at rates far above those of the general population. The phenomenon of farmer’s suicide is considered of the most tragic events in the history of India. India is an agrarian country with about 48.90 percent of its population directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. Sainath (2015) reported that according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 3,02,116 Indian farmers have taken their lives between 1995 and 2014 concentrated in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh. This occurred at an average of 46 farmer’s suicides a day. Higher level of farmer suicides is ascribed to cotton cultivation and continuous drought. The Hindu news paper, 26.10.2015 stated that out of the total farmer suicides in Telangana, 70 to 75 per cent were tenant farmers.

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In India, every year the farmers have to suffer huge losses either due to droughts, or floods or damage by pests and diseases. Whatever may be the reason so far for the loss of their crops, they end-up empty handed and many times fail to repay their debt as they borrow huge amount from money lenders or from landlords for their farming occupation coupled with their rising interest on the loan. In such a situation they suffer from humiliation and in such a condition their persisting psychological agony forces them to commit suicide.

In Telangana, about 55.49 percent of the population is dependent on Agriculture farming related activities for the livelihood (Statistical year book, 2015). Now a days the problem of farmers’ distresss is one of the vital concerns that need to be addressed by the government. According to data of National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB), 2014 Telangana was ranked second among the states in suicides rate in the country.

There is evidence that, worldwide, farming is an occupation with a higher risk for suicide than other occupations, So, Indian farmers’ higher rates may simply fit this pattern and warrant little explanation. However, evidence suggests that a substantial investigation into the causes of this crisis is an imperative, as along with the increasing rates of farmer suicides, research suggests that these suicides are not occurring from more organic processes such as mental health problems, but from socioeconomic, psychosocial and cultural circumstances. These circumstances are making the life of the Indian farmer much more precarious, leading many of them to such a desperate situation that they take their own lives (Milner et al, 2013).

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 898 farmers committed suicides in Telangana during 2014, which account for 11.10 percent of all suicides in India. Activists and scholars have offered a number of conflicting reasons for farmer suicides, such as monsoon failure, high debt burdens, genetically modified crops, government policies, public mental health, personal issues and family problems. There are no consensuses what the main causes might be but studies show suicide victims are motivated by more than one cause, on average three or more causes lead to committing suicide. Present study was conducted to study some selected profile characteristics of suicide committed farmers.

Methodology

To study the profile characteristics of the suicide committed farmers 30 respondents were selected by the simple random sampling method. Respondents were suicide committed farmer family members or neighbours, of different villages of Mahabubnagar district of Telangana state. The mandals were selected on basis of secondary data collected from the State Department of Agriculture. The selected mandals were having the highest number of suicide committed farmers due to drought proneness. i.e, Bhoothpur, Ghanpur, Midgil, Peddamandadi and Veldanda. The data was collected from the respondents by the investigator himself approaching each and every respondent personally and interviewed with the help of interview schedule. The collected data were coded, tabulated, analyzed and presented.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Selected profile characters of suicide committed farmers:

1. Age:

It is referred to the chronological age of the respondents in completed years at the time of investigation. Most (43.33%) of the respondents age was 42 to 46 years, followed by 33.34 percent were of 37 to 41 years and 23.33 percent of the respondents belonged to 32 to 36 years of age. One of the reasons for above findings might be due to the fact that, at that age the increased respondent family pressures, responsibilities and their inability according to caste to cope up with immense stress. This is in conformity with the results of Kale (2008), Vandana and Kunwar (2009), Shrishail et al. (2011) and Bharat (2017).

2. Caste:

The respondents were divided into five categories. Majority (60.00%) of the respondents belonged to OBC evident that more than half of the respondents belonged to OBC category, it might be due to fact category followed by ST 20.00 percent, SC 10 percent and General 10.00 percent. From the findings it was that majority of the OBC category people were having lower economic status in the village. This is in conformity with the results of Kale (2008), Gedela (2008) and Dandekar et al. (2005)

3. Occupation

It was observed that majority (53.33%) of the suicide committed farmers were having own farming as a occupation followed by 46.67 percent respondents belonged to Agril. Labour. None of the respondents followed caste occupation, business, service and land lease as their occupation. The reason might be that most of the farmers of Telangana were dependent on agriculture for their living in some are the other way This is in conformity with the results of Gedela (2008), Deshmukh et al. (2007).

4. Education

Under this variable both education level of suicide committed and suicide committed’s wife was considered under the study.

Majority (73.33%) of farmers were illiterate or never went to school followed by 20.00 percent respondents had primary education and 6.67 percent of the respondents had Middle school. The main reason might be that as they are illiterate they are not having the scientific knowledge in agriculture and modern methods and they were following traditional methods.

Majority (93.33%) suicide committed’s wife’s been illiterate or never went to school followed by 6.67 percent wife’s had primary education. The reason might be that most of the suicide committed wife’s were married at an early age and have to look after home and farming related activities. This is in conformity with the results of Shrishail et al. (2011) and Bharat (2017).

5. Family Type

It was observed that majority (73.33%) of respondents belonged to nuclear family category followed by 26.67 percent of the respondents had joint family. The main reasons for above findings are with low existing income of the family, respondents were unable to meet the family expenditures. This is in conformity with the results of Kale (2008), Gedela (2008) and Parande (2011).

6. Family size

Majority (60.00%) of the respondents belonged to small size followed by 26.67 percent were of medium and 13.33 percent of the respondents belonged to large family size category. In general most of the Indian families are nuclear type. Fom the above findings it was revealed that most of the suicide committed farmers have low family size which means, they have planned their families to be small in contrary to the traditional families. Generally in small families, most of the times the family members are in lonely situation and someone not there to talk with them. In small families, the persons will not get protection from their family members, when they were depressed and they won’t share their feelings, this situation might motivate them to commit suicide. This is in conformity with the results of Sreenivasulu (2010) Parande (2011) Naseem (2017), Bharat (2017).

7. Land holding

It was evident that majority (43.33%) respondents were small farmers followed by 30.00 percent were land less, 20.00 percent were marginal farmers and 6.67 percent of the respondents belonged to medium category. The main reason might be that with less existing land holding size farming may not be profitable. so they were unable to meet family expenses. This is in conformity with the results of Kale (2008), Shridhar (2006) Deshmukh et al. (2007), Rao and Suri (2006).

8. Home

It was inferred that majority (43.33%) were having thatched houses followed by 30.00 percent had katcha houses and 26.67 percent respondents had pucca houses. None of the farmers were having house made up of RCC and hired. The main reason might be that with less source of income from agriculture, respondents were not able to build the houses with good materials. This is in conformity with the results of Rao and Suri (2006).

9. Exposure to mass media

Majority (70.00%) of the respondents received low level of mass media exposure followed by 23.33 percent respondents had medium mass exposure and 6.67 percent respondents had high exposure to mass media sources. This trend might be due to the fact that majority of the respondents were illiterate and having education only upto primary level. They are not keen on reading newspaper. Though almost farmers possessed mobile, but not using for agriculture information. This is in conformity with the results of Sahoo (2010).

10. Extension contact

It was evident that majority (76.67%) of the respondents had low level of extension contact followed by 16.67 percent had medium level and 6.67 percent of the respondents had high level of extension contact. The reason might be that as majority of suicide committed farmers were small, medium farmers and illiterates. They have no frequent contact with officials due to fear and inhibition. Inadequate extension staff in the rural areas might be another reason for this result. Hence recruitment of adequate extension staff and providing quality extension services in rural areas will improve the situation. This is in conformity with the results of Parande (2011) Sahoo (2010) and Rajani (2018)

11. Social Participation

It was observed that majority (76.67%) of the respondents were having low social participation followed by 20.00 percent had medium participation and 3.33 percent respondents had high level of social participation. The reason might be that most of the suicide committed farmers were having low social status in their village and they feel inferior to participate with other farmers who possess high social status. This is in conformity with the results of Nadre (2000), Parande (2011) and Lohar (2018)

12. Market facility

It was inferred that majority (80.00%) of the respondents were having low market facilities followed by 20.00 percent had medium market facilities. This trend might be due to the fact that marketing of agriculture products were through middlemen and wholesalers, thus majority of the farmers sell their produce directly to the middlemen from the field to avoid the problem of long distance travel, poor connectivity and lack of transportation facilities. Therefore due to poor marketing facilities the respondents were having low access to market. This is in conformity with the results of Nadre (2000), Parande (2011).

13. Indebtness

It was evident that (43.33%) of the respondents were having loan amount of 2,18,000 to 3,02,000. While 36.67 percent had loan from 1,34,000 to 2,18,000 followed by 20.00 percent had loan amount from 50,000 to 1,34,000. The main reason for indebtness was due to incurring losses of crop due to drought, damage by pests and increasing cost of cultivation. Farmers were taking loans for giving dowry and to spend on marriages. This is in conformity with the results of Kale et al. (2010) Parande (2011), Bharat (2017).

Conclusions

It was concluded from the study that majority of the respondent’s age was 42 to 46 years, were from OBC category, having own farming as occupation, with illiterate education, family type as nuclear and family size is low, less than 1-2 ha as land holding, having thatched house with low mass media exposure, extension contact, social participation and market facility. While majority of the respondents had indebtedness over 2 lakhs. Establishment of counselling centres in each village, providing easy, timely, adequate institutional farm loans, remunerative price to farm produce, provision/creation of irrigation facilities, ground water finding & arranging bore wells, effective Crop Insurance to cover all crops and all farmers, developing good quality seed, strict vigilance on quality of inputs, corpus fund raising, creating non-farm employment opportunities, linking of MGNREGS with farming, regulatory market system for all crops at village level to eliminate middle men, warehouse facilities in the market yards, establishment of post-harvest processing units.

References

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Profile Characteristics Of Suicide Committed Farmers Of Mahabubnagar District Of Telangana State. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/profile-characteristics-of-suicide-committed-farmers-of-mahabubnagar-district-of-telangana-state/
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