Monday, May 29, 2006

Waiting for 'anna'

P. Sainath reports on the lack of credit from banks, the sham "relief" package and the rise of "anna" in Vidarbha as the farming season begins: Waiting for `anna' in Vidharbha

[Photo: P Sainath]
In Koljhari, upa sarpanch Tulsiram Chavan shows us one cheque that gives him `relief' — to the extent of Rs.78. Others speak of cheques of Rs.5. These won't be deposited since "it's costlier to get to the bank and back." How could this happen? One reason is that many small growers, in bad years, could not sell their cotton to the federation. They had to sell to traders to whom they owed money, who then pocketed the federation's price. And so this year, the traders picked up the refunds meant for the farmers. After all, their names were on the sale records.

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