Vidarbha: After Rahul Gandhi's visit, Congress helps dead farmers' families pay off loans
New Delhi: Congress workers have adopted the households of nine debt-ridden Vidarbha farmers, who had committed suicide, and paid off their loans after party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visited them in April during his ‘padyatra' over the farm distress issue.
“After Rahulji's visit to their homes, our local party leaders have helped these families pay off the loans. We will not stop here. We will take care of the needs of the families in future also.
“A party leader has been asked to take care of one family for one year from henceforth so that the family members of these farmers get the required assistance...,” AICC general secretary in-charge for Maharashtra Mohan Prakash told PTI.
The steps come in the backdrop of repeated criticism in the past that no follow-up action is taken after Gandhi visits homes of the disadvantaged and the poor and makes assurances, a charge which the party leaders deny.
Gandhi's earlier visits to the homes of an Amethi Dalit woman, Sunita Kori, or Kalavati Bandurkar, the widow of a farmer in Amravati, drew the criticism that it brought little change to their lives.
In the case of Vidarbha farmers, the party has deployed one Congress leader for each of the families of the farmers—Ambadas Vahile, Kishor Namdev Kamble, Kachru Goma Tupsundre (all three from Boudh village), Nilesh Bharat from Maali, Maroti Mahaved Navare from Gowari, Manik Suryabhan Thakkar from Kunbi, Ramdas Urkuda Adkin, Shankar Devidas Adkin, Ashok Maratrao Satpaise from Teli.
Gandhi had visited these nine households in five villages between Gunji and Ramgaon during his ‘sanvad yatra' on April 30.
In an attempt to strike a chord with the distressed farmers of Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Gandhi had launched his ‘sanvad yatra' from Gunji village in Maharashtra's Amravati district, the epicenter of farmers suicides, to highlight farmers' woes in the region.
Undertaking the 15-kilometre day-long padyatra, he had assured help to the members of the nine households that saw farmers' suicides since January 2014.
Maharashtra is one of the states that experienced severe agrarian crisis and Amravati division in Vidarbha region has witnessed many suicide cases of farmers.