It is ironic that the farmers in India are always at the bottom of the pyramid of economic prosperity. There are multiple reasons for this phenomena, it ranges from issues of small land holdings, population explosion to agricultural policies and technological innovation.
Another exploitative aspect of the farmer’s woes and penury are the middlemen. In this issue, the Community Correspondent (CC) Maya Khodve is bringing up another set of middlemen, the banks that loans out to farmers and slaps them with exorbitant interest rates.
In the Dari area of Nashik, Maharashtra, a few farmers have not been able to pay back their loan to the Nashik District Central Co-Op Bank (NDCC) Ltd for the past 4 years. The NDCC Bank has sent notices of land acquisition and auction notices to them. This situation is grave for the farmers, if their land is auctioned or acquired then they have no means of livelihood left with them.
The bank is sending them repeated notices and the bank officials are coming to their homes to tell them about this land acquisition. The elderly farmers were stressed about this whole situation, and in the video we can see one farmer had a paralytic Heart Attack.
The farmers could not pay back as they were having bad yields for the last 4 years. The bank loan interest on the other hand were spiralling in a compounding rate. One farmer's loan of INR 2 Lakh has reached INR 9 Lakh in 4 years. The bank officials then showed him the auction notice and asked him to settle with half the interest amount.
The farmers are saying without the Government’s intervention, it will not be possible for them to repay the loan or the interest. They were driven to despair.
But, the silver lining is that every year, the Maharashtra Government waives the loans of the needy farmers. Maya Khodve knew about these schemes of the Government. She went to talk to the Bank Manager with the farmers to find a solution for this grave issue.
In Part II, we will read and see about how she found a solution to these farmers' issues.
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