Mumbai: The Maharashtra government is mulling to set up 10-12 member committees in every village across the state which will work towards preventing farmers' suicides, the Legislative Council was informed here on Tuesday.
Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse, while replying to a query during the Question Hour told the Council that a total of 17,645 farmers have committed suicides between 2001 to December 2014.
"The number of farmers committing suicides is humiliating and a matter of grave concern. Nobody can say for sure that farmer suicides will completely stop, but a lot can be done if everybody works together. To help these farmers, a committee of 10-12 people, consisting of gram sevaks, doctors, educated people, etc will be made in every village, who will take care of farmers and their families," Khadse said.
He said this committee will periodically visit farmers to gauge their mental condition, help them with issues like taking loans and family marriage functions.
"Before a farmer commits suicide, he usually gets depressed and talks about failure and their inability to carry on with life. This committee will keep a watch on such farmers and their families and immediately take steps if there is something wrong," Khadse said.
He said that the government is considering a proposal, where not only farmers, but their entire families would be given insurance, and the premium could be paid by the government.
"According to the Central government's rule, farmers will be given an insurance on a premium of Rs 12 per year. We are trying to convert this into providing insurance for the entire family under the Centre's scheme," he said.