(VIDEO) Cheque out how UP helps farmers
Bundelkhand: It may look like a joke, but the Uttar Pradesh government has issued Rs 15, Rs 29 and Rs 55 cheques, as compensation to destitute farmers in Bundelkhand.
The irony - no bank encashes cheques less than Rs 100.
"The bank officials returned the cheques to us. They asked us to renew the cheques worth Rs 26, Rs 52, Rs 11 and Rs 10,” says Laloo, a resident of Pandui village in Banda.
Bundelkhand, the land of historic temples, diamond mines and the valiant Lakshmi Bai is now witnessing a desperate fight.
It has been reeling under severe drought for the last four years. The worst hit areas include Chitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jhansi and Jalaun.
Barren fields and starving families have driven more than three hundred farmers to take their lives. A farmer, Chunbud Ali even dug up his own grave, a week before he committed suicide.
The time might have been enough for the administration to have stepped in, but they have remained oblivious.
"The criterion for drought relief is the area of one's land. But since I haven't seen the cheques, so I don't know,” says District Magistrate of Banda, Prabhudayal Srinivas.
Farmers complain the local irrigation department has categorically refused to give them water. And neither the state nor the central government is doing anything about the situation.
The Prime Minister’s visit and Maharashtra’s farmers getting more than half a thousand crores of relief was the work of media hype, they say.
However, they have been left to die in misery. And all they can afford to leave their children in the twenty first century India is a legacy of debt and poverty.
(with inputs from Anand Mohan Srivastav in Bundelkhand) COURTESY: CNN-IBN