Creative solutions, sarkari style
The many ways in which officials in a region gripped by crisis try to deal with it can be intriguing. Even entertaining. From advising farmers to plant crops in line with zodiac signs to suggesting they bear arms against moneylenders — it's all happening in Vidharbha.
A more well meaning effort was the despatch in 2004 of teams to `counsel' the distressed farmers. Not with bhajan-kirtans but with advice from psychologists, doctors and revenue officials. In one village, after a long discussion with such a team, a farmer asked them: "You've given us great advice on so many things. On combating stress, curbing our drinking and so on. And you've asked us so many probing questions, too. Now ask us one more. Ask us why farmers, who produce the nation's food, are themselves starving."