Nagpur (Maharashtra), March 7 IANS | 5 months ago

Thousands of widows across the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra will go on fast on International Women's Day Saturday to protest government apathy towards their long pending problems, an activist said here Friday.


"We are demanding the restoration of 'right to live' with dignity and respect as over 5,000,000 farmers families are reeling under severe crises following massive crop damage in floods," Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) president Kishore Tiwari told IANS.

Tiwari claimed that despite the government declaring a wet drought in the region, the farmers continue to be hit by forcible recoveries from banks and private money-lenders. He said food, health and education security eludes them and the spate of suicides continued.

"From June 2005 till March 2014, more than 11,000 farmers have ended their lives as per official statistics, but the centre and state governments have failed to provide a long term, sustainable solution to the issue," Tiwari said.

At the protest fast tomorrow (Saturday), the widows and farmers will demand urgent relief, a total waiver of loans to those whose crops are completely damaged, increase in procurement price of cotton and other issues.

Tiwari said that since the past three years, the farm widows have been protesting regularly on International Women's Day and Diwali but so far there has been no effective solution to their problems by the authorities.

"It should shame all political parties that on such days, Vidarbha farm widows are forced to fight for their basic rights to live, food, health and education when the women around the world have progressed so much," Tiwari said.

(Posted on 07-03-2014)