Over 100 farmer suicides in Wayanad in last 15 years; rights panel orders govt action

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Kalpetta: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has ordered the Kerala government to take urgent measures to address the matter of farmer suicides in Wayanad district. Protect debt-ridden farmers from private financiers and local money lenders, said the rights panel in a statement.

Judicial member of the commission Dr Baiju Nath directed the Chief Secretary to submit a detailed action plan within three months, outlining steps to prevent farmer suicides in Wayanad by alleviating debt burdens. This directive follows a complaint by human rights activist Advocate V Devadas.

In response to the SHRC's inquiry, the Wayanad District Collector Dr Renu Raj reported that over 100 farmers died by suicide in the past 15 years in the district, with most of the incidents linked to debt. Strict guidelines from mainstream banks often prevent farmers from obtaining loans, forcing them to turn to private financiers and local moneylenders, the collector added.
The report also recommended the state government to introduce tailored loan schemes and implement regulations to protect the farming community from exploitative lending practices.

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