Monday, March 19, 2007

Public Function for Vidarbha Widows

German women aid given to Vidarbha farm widows :

Pandharkawada (India), March 17:

Today in very largely attended public function (see photo)to give German women aid to vidarbha farm widows held in small town pandharkawada in yavatmal district of vidarbha(India) in which most venerable widows who are facing starvation have given the relief aid .the function was orgnised by pandharkawada civic body president anil tiwari in local agrasen bhavan was attended by all social and political workers of all parties.
Kumar Roy and Shibani Bhattacharya Indian counter part of Indienhilfe e.V., a voluntary organisation based in Herrsching, have disbursed the amount.
Courageous and spirited stories told by widows, publicly, to keep the life alive was main attraction of the function.

This time, the helping hand has come from across the oceans, from Germany, for the distressed widows of farmers in Vidarbha, the region of Maharashtra in the grip of a severe agrarian crisis.

The readers of a Munich-based daily sent in financial contributions for helping women after reading about their plight in a series of stories carried by the newspaper.

The amount representing the total collection is to be handed over to the women at a brief function to be held in Pandharkawda in this district on Saturday.

Karin Steinberger, a correspondent of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a leading German newspaper, toured Vidarbha in December 2006 for a closer look at the agrarian crisis and the plight of the widows of debt-ridden farmers, who committed suicide.

Moved by Ms. Steinberger's articles, several readers remitted money to the newspaper's office, asking it to be sent to the widows. The total collection was the equivalent of Rs1. 5 lakhs.

However, the money could not be sent to India directly because of legal restrictions on remittance of foreign exchange, until Indienhilfe e.V., a voluntary organisation based in Herrsching, stepped in.

Kishor Tiwari, local farm activist of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti was the chief guest of the this function and urged all farm widows to change the agrarian crisis in to prosperity whole world is with, we will appeal the all international community to stand along with you in this days of distress. No widows have become sex worker till date and it will not happen in future too.
Vidarbha farm widows are the highly respected like war widows in this maharashtra ,we condemn the media campaign to malign the image of vidarbha farm widows as turning be sex workers, Kishor Tiwari informed gathering with grate pain.

However some sections of Indian media are bent on attracting sensational headlines, doing investigative journalism, looking for spicy headlines, without any compassion.
This section of media is choosing to put farm widows in the dock rather than the agriculture policy makers.

Friday, March 16, 2007

German Women Join Hands With Vidarbha Widows

The readers of a leading German ( Deutsche )news paper, "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" have given relief aid to Vidarbha Farm Widows.
They were moved by Karin Steinberger's article based on the struggle of farm widows, after the suicide of their farmer husbands, when local Maharashtra govt. turned blind eye towards the plights of these widows.
This amount was collected by news paper "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" was transferred to INDENHILFE, an NGO working for the Indian people.
Their Kolkatta base office is arranging a function for Relief Aid disbursement at Pandharkawada in Yavatmal district of Vidarbha, Maharashtra in India on 17th March. INDIENHILIFE office in charge, Kumar Roy and Shibani Bhattacharya have been touring in rural part of Vidarbha to identify the widows who are working hard to save the surviving family, from agrarian crisis.

Karin Steinberger, is with the German news paper, "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" since 2000, writing features from all over the world, but most of stories are from rural parts of India. This article was based on the hardships faced by Farm Widows of Vidarbha and their "struggle to remain live", without any meaningful and coordinated government aid.
It was published in 2006, and the article has been read by the thousand of readers in Germany, but relief aid programme, has just coincidently matched with the timing when one of Indian media, TV news channels, has been running a premeditated campaign, to run fabricated stories of Farm widows and has been evoking very strong response from Vidarbha and all over the world.

This German relief aid distribution programme, will boost morale of these farm widows, at last, after the sheer apathy of local Congress and NCP government, and top local bureaucrats of Maharashtra, who are more interested in book keeping and making media statements, debating the reasons for farm suicides in cotton belt of Vidarbha.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Ten Minutes For Me Too Mr Chidambaram

- Gita, with her 4 month old kid
Kishor Tiwari visited KopaMandvi, yet another village on National Highway no.7

"I was shocked to look at pathetic condition of 23 year widow of Sharvan Chichodkar, a Vidarbha cotton farmer, who committed suicide.

She asked "who killed my husband?"
Gita narrated .. "It was constant worry of family debt and food starvation, that forced him to kill himself.
After Sharvan, nobody is there to look after me.
I will have to feed my kid and old father in laws.
We are fed up with this crisis."..
Sharvan is third farmer suicide in KopaMandvi.
More than 100 farm suicides in this belt in last 4 years.
All GM cotton growers in Vidarbha are in debt, as per Shri Kishor Tiwari of VJAS.

Indian Finance Minister, Shri Chidambaram, had high profile photos and media coverage with top Indian industrialists, like Ratan Tata, on eve of Congress 2007 Budget. He did not have even 10 minutes to spare for debt ridden and suicidal Vidarbha cotton farmers, as he was too busy putting final touches to the Sensex Budget in New Delhi.