The farmers want farm loan waiver and compensation for crop failure.
New Delhi: Farmers from Tamil Nadu who are protesting in the national capital to seek farm loan waiver say they feel disillusioned on the 18th day of their agitation. The Cauvery basin, from where they came, saw the worst drought in the past 140 years.
“We have been demanding drought relief package of Rs 40,000 crore from the Centre and a farm loan waiver,” said P. Ayyakkannu, state president of the National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturists Association. He then asked the protesters to show the skulls of farmers who had committed suicide.
The Tamil Nadu government had sought a Rs 40,000 crore package. The Centre gave Rs 2,000 crore.
The state government has said 17 farmers have committed suicide between October 2016 and January 2017, while over a hundred died of “shock due to crop failure”.
Over 100 farmers from at least 12 districts in Tamil Nadu are camping at Jantar Mantar.
“We live in Delhi, but we came here to stand in solidarity with the farmers. I’m hoping that the issue will be resolved quickly,” said Prabhu, who belongs to Tiruvannamalai district in Tamil Nadu. “It’s a hot day,” said A. Devendran, a cab driver in the national capital. “Back in Tamil Nadu, by this time, sea breeze brings the temperature down,” Mr Devendran said.
Damodaran, an aged farmer from Nagapattinam, said, “We want the farm loans to be waived off. We want more profit for our agricultural produce. Banks are trying to usurp out land.”
“I’ve 30 acres of land. I took a loan for buying a tractor, and now I have a debt of Rs 12.5 lakh,” Mr Damodaran said, wiping his face.
“We could not grow anything last year because of the drought,” he added.