WHEN the coronavirus pandemic struck, Randhir Singh, a farmer in Sirsiwala, Punjab was in deep debt. He had a small cotton field by the railway track. Unable to pay back the loan, he killed himself on the same track. Take any state across India and you’ll hear countless stories of farmers’ perilous situations and the extreme step they take as a consequence. The last Ministry of Home Affairs report states that 11,379 farmers died by suicide in India in 2016. That translates to 948 suicides each month, or 31 suicides every day.
Have you often wished you could do something to help the farmers but didn’t know how to go about it or reach out? Read on to know more about how a little help from you can make a big difference to our food growers.
Agriculture is the mainstay in India and nearly 70% of the people are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. But India’s farmers face several challenges that set them back. Right from unpaid debts, lack of proper funds to buy quality seeds and fertilizers, to inadequate irrigation systems, monsoon failure, poor rural infrastructure and more.
Often nearly 30% of agricultural produce is lost to lack of proper storage or timely transportation. It is surprising to know Indian farmers receive just 10% to 23% of the price the consumers pay for the produce. Our farmers toil every day to make sure we have food on our plates – while so many of them and their families have to go hungry.
Swades Foundation is one of the organisations working to uplift farmers’ families from poverty. Through a 360-degree approach, they are enabling poor farmers to boost their annual income and stand on their feet. Self sustaining communities can be created by ensuring that each household can increase their earnings by at least ₹ 90,000 per annum through a basket of programs.
Swades’s efforts will give these rural households ways to increase their earning capacity through opportunities in animal husbandry, adequate water for irrigation, quality seeds, saplings and trees to cultivate even fallow lands. Another crucial step is offering scholarships for rural youth to continue their education so they can lift their families out of poverty.
It is time we help our farmers and their families prosper. Your donation will be used to ensure almost 30,000 households in rural India, with incomes of under ₹2lakh per annum, become self-reliant and improve on the following aspects:
- Provide livelihood opportunities and skills training to help rural households become self-sufficient in the long run.
- Increase household incomes at least ₹80,000 per year per family, with which they will be able to afford better diets and fight widespread malnutrition.
- Provide clean drinking water and safe sanitation, making sure every household has a toilet to end open defecation.
- Offer scholarships to meritorious rural students, many of whom give up their education due the lack of means to study further.
What affects our farmers now affects the whole nation. Let’s join hands and come together as a community to help our farmers. You can donate to this fundraiser here.
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