Nagpur: Taking a cue from the Sahitya Academy award winners and others who adopted the “Award Wapsi” tactics to draw attention towards various burning problems, the farmers have also adopted the same line of protest. First of such incident took place in Chandrapur, the home district of Finance Minister. Two farmers, Hemant Shendre of Savargaon and Moreshwar Zade of Vadhona, both in Chimur Tehsil, have decided return their awards bestowed upon by State Government for their outstanding experiments in farming. The move to return their awards is aimed at showing displeasure against the Government for its negligence of farmers.
Both Hemant Shendre and Moreshwar Zade have been awarded with Shetinishta and Krishibhushan Puraskars which are given by the Governor. The two farmers have announced that they will return the awards to the State Government through the District Collector tomorrow (January 21). While citing the reason for returning the awards, Zade said that the Government has failed to curb suicides by farmers. Many of the decisions are anti-farmers. The decisions are affecting the farmers badly, said Zade.
On the other hand, Hemant Shendre has linked some of his demands to the return of his award. Shendre has demanded the Government to turn the agriculture a beneficial profession, stop the suicides by farmers and implement the recommendations of Dr Swaminathan Commission. According to both Shendre and Zade, the condition of farmers has turned worse. “Nobody wants to do farming. The situation in Vidarbha is alarming, said the farmers.
Shendre is a prosperous farmer. He received the State Government awards in 2004 and 2010. He has also achieved Jamshed Tata National Fellowship and visited several countries. He is also known as an agriculture expert. “But today, farming is a lose-lose proposition. Government will have to give a serious thought on farmers’ problems. The Prime Minister, who had doled out promises during his Vidarbha visit, must fulfill the promises,” asserted Shendre.
The 70-year old Moreshwar Zade owns 15-acre farm. He received the awards in 1988 and 2002. “The natural calamities and Government’s policies have continuously worsened the condition of farmers. The aim of returning the awards is just to awaken the insensitive Government,” declared Zade.
This is the first time that the farmers have announced return of their awards. The farmers’ leader Ram Nevale lamented that hours and hours are being spent on discussing the ‘intolerance’ issue but nobody is sparing a minute to debate farmers’ problems. This depressing situation is enough to awaken the Government. Now, farmer-oriented decisions will have to be taken, said Nevale.