Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The "Massive Con" Causing a Suicide Every 30 Minutes

According to the authors of the NYU report:

"While striking on their own, these figures considerably underestimate the actual number of farmer suicides taking place. Women, for example, are often excluded from farmer suicide statistics because most do not have title to land—a common prerequisite for being recognized as a farmer in official statistics and programs."

The general trend over time is increasing suicides, despite the generally decreasing numbers of Indians performing farming each year, which makes the statistics even starker: It's estimated that more than 250,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide so far. But this problem is not limited to India, as the suicide rate for farmers is higher worldwide than for the non-farming population.

In the Midwestern U.S., suicide rates among male farmers are twice that of the overall population. In Britain, one farmer commits suicide every week.v

For every Indian farmer who takes his own life, a family is hounded by the debt he leaves behind, typically resulting in children dropping out of school to become farmhands, and surviving family members themselves frequently committing suicide out of hopelessness and despair. The Indian government's response to the crisis—largely in the form of limited debt relief and compensation programs—has failed to address the magnitude and scope of the problem or its underlying causes.