The Telangana government released a relief fund of Rs 14.58 crore on Thursday for the payment of ex-gratia to the kin of 243 farmers who died by suicide. Families of the victims were offered Rs 6 lakh each as ex-gratia and the Relief Commissioner has been directed to disburse the funds through District Collectors.
According to the government, Nalgonda district had the highest number of suicides of farmers at 45, followed by Khammam at 32, Sangareddy at 20, Karimnagar at 19, Vikarabad at 15. Jogulamba Gadwal district and Kumaram Asifabad district at 1.
Farmer rights organisation Rythu Swarajya Vedika said that the government was compelled to issue the G.O only after they approached the High Court, and said that the government recognising just 243 families was unfair.
Speaking to TNM, Kondal Reddy from Rythu Swarajya Vedika said, â€śThe government had identified 500 families of farmers so far. Among them, they have given relief to only 243 families. What about the rest? When will they process their claims?â€ť
The claims of the other 256 families are still being processed by authorities.
â€śThere are 62 victim families in Nalgonda district alone, but the government is giving ex-gratia to just 45 farmers. What about the others? In Mancherial, none of the families were given ex-gratia,â€ť Kondal Reddy said.
Rythu Swarajya Vedika claimed that the government did not release the full ex-gratia amount from 2015 onwards.
â€śSince 2015, Telangana has had 4,200 farmer suicides. However, among them, only 1,200 families were identified as victims of farmer suicides. While 950 victims were offered compensation in a phased manner, the rest is yet to be given,â€ť Kondal Reddy said.
The activist said that the Revenue Department officials should take proactive steps to identify the families of the victims, gather details and send it to the Finance Department.
â€śThe District Collectors should also expedite the process of disbursing the ex-gratia,â€ť he added.