[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.