A group of farmers from Tamil Nadu stayed put at Jantar Mantar here for the seventeenth day in a row to demand drought relief package from the central government. Tamil Nadu farmers protest having taped their mouths shut as they continue their silent protest to draw the Centre’s attention towards the apathy being meted out to their cause.
Notably, the National Human Rights Commission had in January issued a notice to Tamil Nadu government over reported death of 106 farmers during a period of one month in the state and sought a detailed report from it in the matter.
The farmers belonging to Cauvery belt are protesting here demanding a drought relief package of INR 40,000 crore from the Centre, farm loan waiver and setting up of Cauvery Management Board.
Lending support the protesting farmers, chief of Naam Tamilar Katchi, a regional political party in Tamil Nadu, Seeman said it is only the farmers who do not have the right to fix a proper price for their produce in the market.
“Manufacturers of all goods set a price for their product, but farmers are not able to do so. The governments should immediately act for redressing their grievances,” Seeman said. The founder of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, another regional political party, Thol Thirumavalavan is also expected make his presence in Jantar Mantar to offer his support to the farmers.
Meanwhile, students of Government College of Fine Arts in Chennai, who are on an industrial visit to the national capital, too offered their support to the farmers and drew paintings depicting their hardship. The NHRC had observed that there was a need for real implementation of the laws and policies made for the farming sector especially, the small farmers.
Reportedly, it has not rained, and the level of the ground water has also shrunk at many places in the state. The water bodies are also drying. The poor farmers, who depend on their crops, are the most vulnerable section of the society and they always become victims of various vagaries, the Commission had said.