NEW DELHI: A new report published by India’s National Crime Records Bureau has revealed that some 14,000 farmers in the country killed themselves last year.
The report said that the number is a positive step in the right direction however, after nearly 16,000 farmers committed suicide the previous year.
However, the report warned that the number could be higher, as Chhattisgarh, which recorded 1,412 farmers committing suicide in 2010, reported none for 2011.
Maharashtra in the West of India reported the highest number of suicides, with 3,337, up from 3,141 the previous year.
“The numbers show an abysmal story of how the special packages for the non-irrigated, chronically drought-prone areas such as Bundelkhand and Vidarbha seem to have delivered little to the most needy,” said the report.
But there was room for hope, as the numbers are declining across India, with a peak year in 2004 reporting 18,241 suicides.
Besides the well known farming crisis states, it is the figures from states like Assam that startle. The northeast state recorded 312 deaths in 2011 and 269 in 2010.
Labor activists have repeatedly called on India to boost their assistance to farmers, but the government has yet to introduce new policies that could see the suicide rate decrease.