Over 34,000 families in various villages here have been provided financial assistance under a government-sponsored campaign which has helped in checking incidents of farmers' suicides in the district.
The 'Baliraja Chetna Abhiyan' is being carried out successfully in the district and has helped in curbing the farmers' suicides to a great extent, Yavatmal Collector Sachindra Pratap Singh said on Thursday.
The campaign was launched in August 2015 as a part of the Chief Minister's announcement to stop farmers from taking the extreme step in Yavatmal and Osmanabad districts of Maharashtra. Under the campaign, financial assistance has been provided to 34,596 families of farmers in 1,848 villages across Yavatmal during the current financial year, a release issued by the district administration said.
The samitis formed in various villages as part of the campaign have distributed a total of Rs 25 lakh during this financial year to nearly 250 cancer patients among the families of farmers, the release said.
"The fund is made available from the donations received from philanthropists in the district," campaign director and Resident Deputy Collector Rajesh Khawale said. Under the campaign, the needy farmers are given loan to the extent of Rs 5,000 without any interest for the purpose of sowing and medical treatment, Khawale said.
Financial assistance is also being provided to needy students for their high education and for organising mass marriages of daughters of farmers in the district, he said. "We are monitoring the campaign closely and a special team of nodal officers has been appointed to check its implementation," Singh said.
The nodal officers arrange regular meetings in the villages and try to resolve the issues of farmers there itself, he added.
Notably, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said in December last year that the BJP-led state government succeeded in curbing the farmers' suicides by nearly 40 per cent in the worst-affected Yavatmal district of Vidarbha with the help of 'Baliraja Chetna Abhiyan'.
"Our efforts will not cease till we ensure that not a single farmer takes the extreme step," Fadnavis had then said.