FYI: Indian Farmers and Widows to Protest Obama’s Visit

Vidarbha farmers, widows to protest Obama’s visit
IANS, November 4 2010

Nagpur – Farmers all over Vidarbha in eastern Maharashtra will stage candle-light protests on the eve of US President Barack Obama’s visit Friday, seeking to draw his attention to the plight of agriculture sector in the region, an official said.

The US policy of providing huge subsidies to cotton farmers in America has triggered over 216,000 farmland suicides in India, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) chief Kishor Tiwari said in a statement here Thursday.

He said that farmland widows would light a candle in all the affected villages in Vidarbha and they would make attempts to send a group of widows to Mumbai to protest Obama’s visit.

‘After permission was granted to commercially cultivate American Bt. Cotton, the lush green Vidarbha cotton fields became dying fields, claiming lives of more than 10,000 farmers — who opted for this (Bt. Cotton) seed,’ Tiwari said.

He said the NGO wants to inform the US president how the claims that Bt. Cotton brought genetic revolution in agriculture are a hoax and lead to distress for over three-fourths of farmers using it and an average of three suicides per day.

Tiwari pointed out that while the whole country gets ready to celebrate Diwali Friday, six farmers committed suicide in the past two days — taking the toll to 645 in 2010.

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