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Present situation in Marathwada

90 lakh farmers have been affected by severe drought in Marathwada, Maharashtra. Since 2014, the farmers of Marathwada are facing massive agrarian losses due to water crisis because of deficit rainfalls and erratic weather. This year the situation has worsened, severe water crisis has led to significant crop losses, leaving the farmers and their families in extreme distress with no source of income, food or water. Almost every village, around 8522 villages in the region is affected. Marathwada, also infamously known as the “suicide capital of farmers” has witnessed over 1300* suicides in the last 15 months, with each week witnessing 20-30 suicides of distressed farmers. Farmers and their families are in dire need of help, the current situation is dismal and all that is left for them is hope.

Affected families migrating to Mumbai

As drought is a recurring phenomenon, roughly 10 lakh small farmers migrate each year after sowing their crop, but this year, the drought in Marathwada region has pushed migration up by 30%. Thousands of farmers from drought-hit areas like Latur and Beed have been fleeing to Mumbai. They are fleeing their villages as they do not have water to drink, and as their lands have grown parched, they have no livelihood. More than 200 families have already been migrated to Mumbai. This number will grow as crisis is likely to deepen further in peak summer. These farmers are migrating to the city to look for alternate means of livelihood. Ghatkopar’s Bhatwadi area alone, now houses more than 100 migrant families from Marathwada region.

Many farmers left behind their old parents, young children, their farms and their homes in hope of surviving the summer. After all, debts need to be paid and there is no scope of earning back home. These families are now struggling for basic amenities like food, water and shelter. Let us come together and help the farmers of Marathwada in this tough hour, even a small contribution can go a long way to improve their lives.

*Indian Express (http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/farmer-suicide-toll-crosses-200-mark-in-marathwada-collective-toll-over-1300-in-15-months/) (March 15, 2016)