40 farmers die every day in Telangana

Hyderabad, January 13: On an average, 40 farmers in Telangana State are dying due to various reasons.

This shocking data was indirectly revealed when Principal Secretary of Agriculture Department ParthaSarathi held a meeting on January 9 with department officials and LIC officials to review the status of claims settlement under Rythu Bima Pathakam (Farmers Group Life Insurance Scheme).

During the meeting it was told that as against 5,821 deaths registered 5,525 deaths claims are settled and an amount of Rs. 276.25 crores are deposited in nominees’ accounts @Rs. 5.00Lakhs per nominee.

The Rythu Bima scheme is being implemented from August 15, 2018, for farmers in the age group of 18 to 59 years wherein each of them has been provided an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh. The premium per head has been fixed at Rs 2,271. The Government of Telangana has tied up with the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to implement the scheme and spending Rs. 1,000 crore towards premium payment on behalf of the farmers.

As many as 57,15,870 farmers hailing from 30 districts which are spread across 108 Divisions, 568 Mandals, 2245 Clusters and 10,874 villages of Telangana have enrolled themselves with Rythu Bima scheme.

Although the initiative was welcomed by all, the statistics of farmers’ deaths look shocking. The scheme came under implementation from midnight of August 14, 2018 and as on January 9, 2019 or in just 146 days, a total of 5,821 deaths of farmers have been registered. It means that on an average 40 farmers are dying due to various reasons. However, the officials did not elaborate on the common reasons that are causing death of farmers in such a large numbers.

Telangana Government has faced huge criticism after it stood second in the list of States with highest of farmers’ suicide since 2014. More than 3,800 farmers in Telangana committed suicide since 2014 primarily due to debt and other farm-related issues. The new statistics are most likely to trigger debate in the political circles. An in-depth study into the causes of death could bring new facts before light. The causes resulting in death of farmers in such a large numbers need to be explored.

The data pertaining to death of farmers and their causes is already available with the LIC, which is settling the claims. Therefore, what needs to be done is to undertake an analysis. This might help the State Government and also the NGOs in taking measures to control the causes which are killing farmers.

The main objective of the Rythu Bima scheme, according to Telangana Government, was to provide financial relief and social security to the family members/ dependents, in case of loss of farmer’s life due to any reason. “In the event of the loss of the farmer life, their families are facing severe financial problems even for their day-to-day needs. The farmers Group Life Insurance Scheme ensures financial security and relief to the bereaved members of the farmer’s family. Farmers in the age group of 18 to 59 years are eligible for enrol under the scheme. The entire premium is paid by the government to the Life Insurance Corporation of India (Largest public sector PSU for Insurance in India). In the event of the death of the enrolled farmer due to any cause including natural death, the insured amount of 5.00 Lakhs INR is deposited into the designated nominee account within 10 days,” says the guidelines issued by the State Government.

Below are the district-wise figures of farmers enrolled under ‘Rythu Bima Pathakam’

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