“People who work hard to ensure we get food on our plates are killing themselves.”

Data with the agriculture department shows that in 2015, two-thirds of the 1.37crore farmers in the state of Maharashtra have been affected by the drought mainly in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. That is nearly 90 lakh farmers in Maharashtra alone.According to the state’s revenue department figures, the farmer suicide count in the six-month span from January to June 2015 stood at 1,300 cases.

This is not farmer’s problem alone; it is our problem, yours and mine!

We are sitting on a ticking time bomb, unless we think of ways to diffuse it, we are all going to be affected by this malaise.

Indira Group of Institutes (IGI) under the visionary leadership of its Chairperson, Dr Tarita Shankar, announces its vision – Indira Sustainable Maharashtra Initiative (ISMI)

IGI believes that education and training are powerful tools against poverty and hunger. Skill development through education is the key to improving rural productivity, employability and income-earning opportunities.  Enhancing food security and promoting environmentally sustainable rural development and livelihoods is the need of the hour.

IGI will set aside a corpus to help children of the farmers who committed suicide, by sponsoring their education in undergraduate and post graduate programs at its campuses. IGI feels that such farmer’s children deserve better opportunities to live, hence its decision to help in this way.

ISMI will help one child each from such identified families by educating them and helping them to get employed with a steady job, thus augmenting their family income, and standard of living. IGI also believes that such economic independence is more likely to ensure that such farmer’s children will take forward the legacy of educating their own children, thus breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger, thereby raising the productivity of future generations and generating sustainable growth. Education and training are essential components of any strategy to improve agricultural and non-farm productivity and pull households out of poverty. Learning about improved production technologies and methods, new products and markets, business and life skills can make a big difference to the quality of life for the farming population.

IGI accolades its Alumni who have taken the decision to support their Alma Mater in supporting this cause by sponsoring part of the education of the farmer’s children.

IGI has also planned to explore alternative solutions to the problems of farmers through extensive discussions with them about supplementary sources of income, in order to end the agrarian crisis and farmers’ suicides. IGI will facilitate such attempts by embarking on a mass contact program of farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions.

January 9th, 2016

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