Hailstorm Leaves Farmers Shattered in Kishanganj 

The inclement weather of that fateful Sunday was a blow to the farmers of 19 panchayats of Kishanganj District, Bihar, India. Cyclonic storms together with hailstorms totally destroyed their houses and crops. The storm was so powerful that many roofs were blown away and trees uprooted damaging the walls and in few cases, the entire houses collapsed.

For the destitute villagers, it was as if nature had orchestrated this attack on them. In their abject poverty they will never be able to build the houses again unless the Government comes forward to help them. One woman, who makes ‘Bidi’ (Bidi is a thin cigarette filled with tobacco flake and commonly wrapped in a tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon) or Piliostigma racemosum leaf tied with a string or adhesive at one end) for a living mentioned she may need at least INR 50 thousand the for house thats was flattened.

Most of the farmers are worried about repayment of their loans. As a practice the farmers buy the seeds, fertilisers and other paraphernalia on loan on a promise that they will return the cash once they harvest and sell their crops. Now as all the crops are damaged, they are looking up to the Government to receive compensation.

The Community Correspondent Shah Faisal is appealing to the zonal agricultural officer to assess the farmers' loss and confirm their compensation. According to the district agriculture officer, an order has been issued for assessment of the damage.

Crop insurance is a system to protect farmers against loss or damage to growing crops as a result of natural hazards (such as hail, drought, flood, insects). The state of Bihar has one ‘Bihar Fasal Sahayta Yojana’ started this year and hope the affected farmers and families will be duly compensated soon.

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