Thursday, April 28, 2016

Adivasis in interior areas rely on streams for water

the Markaloddi gudem in deep forests in Sirpur ( U) mandal 
Streams, even if flowing at low intensity, are proving a died- hard source of water for Adivasis living deep in forests in interior areas in the district’s interior areas.

Ten Andh Adivasi families, with about 60 members in all , who have been living in the Markaloddi in Sirpur (U) mandal since a long time are quenching their thirst in this manner, said Tekam Dashwanth, a resident.
This community is somewhat more religious and they maintain isolation from other communities most of the time.   

“Water they fetch from the streams is tasteful as the water flows down from the hills , past may medicinal plants and their roots , thus becoming therapeutic,” he said.

There is no road connectivity, yet they don’t come out of that place as they are attached to it for peace and independence it offers them.

They go to Jainoor mandal headquarters for weekly shandy to buy their essential commodities, pointing out that they had never faced a threat from the forest animals though they move in this deep forest area even at night. 

Markaloddi remains unexplored territory ; going there gives the sense of entering a cave over a long distance and suddenly chancing upon a tiny village in the midst of the hills.

To reach the Markaloddi, one has to climb down hills, walk through hard terrain, take slippery twists and turns and cross rivulets. Visiting this place offers nature lovers, researchers, and journalists a refreshingly different experience.

Mana TS- Mana Vyavasayam to promote traditional crops

ITDA, Utnoor project officer R.V Karnan in Jowar fields 
The “Mana Telangana – Mana Vyavasayam” aimed to reduce the cotton cultivation and to promote alternative crops in the Telangana especially district like Adilabad.

The state government is going to recruit one Agriculture extension officer per  5,000 acres and will recruit 1,000 Agriculture extension officers from May.

The state government took the serious note of the huge loss in cotton cultivation and cotton farmers were more among the farmers committed suicide in the state.  

Training will be given to the selected farmers in cultivation of other crops like pulses, turmeric, sunflower, soya and vegetables.  

Minister for Forest and environment Jogu Ramanna said state government wanted to make the Agriculture profit- making, bring many changes and encourage organic farming on a big scale.

He said they were going to give top priority to the soil testing to improve the yield and they will introduce “Sanchara Boosara Parikshalu’ and farmers should avail the benefit of this mobile soil testing and cultivate crops according to their results of their soil.

From now onwards, Agriculture department will encourage traditional crops and rainfed crops like Jowar, maize, and sunflower instead cotton which is considered to be a water intensive crop.

The steep fall in the ground water table and prevailing successive drought conditions and low prices to the cotton in the international markets forced the state government to come out with an alternative action plan to tackle the agriculture crisis.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Forecast of good rains expedites Mission Kakatiya works

Mission Kakatiya works at Mamada in Adilabad district 
The Mission Kakatiya works taken up under second phase being carried on at a brisk pace following the forecast of a good monsoon this year.

The tanks will receive rainwater if they are revived before the onset of the monsoon and that will result in increasing the ground water table.  

The state government has asked the officials concerned to complete the desiltation, strengthening of bunds and other related works within the three months, as agreed by the contractors, unlike the first phase when it was delayed. It would be difficult to carry on desiltation works of tanks during the rainy season.

In the second phase, as many as 459 tanks will be revived and Rs 168 crore has been sanctioned for this in the district.

Contractors were asked to expedite the works related to the strengthening of bund and desiltation of the tanks as it would help in increasing the ground water table and in irrigating the lands under its ayacut.

Local Ministers and MLAs are formally launching the tank works at various places just after completing the tender process. Contractors have been asked to complete the works on time by engaging more number workers if required.

A contractor, who has taken up Mission Kakatiay works in Mavala gram panchayat ,said they have speeded up works despite high temperatures to meet their deadline. We should complete works before the onset of the monsoon in June”, he said adding that it would be difficult to take up desiltation and other works, once tanks start receiving rainwater.

On the other hand, as many as 10 tanks have been identified, one each in every Assembly constituency, for development as mini- tank bund at a cost of Rs 30 crore.

The irrigation officials in the Adilabad said revival works of 450 tanks, of the total 558 has been completed under the first phase of mission Kakatiya  in the Adilabad district.

Fields wear a barren look

Buffaloes grazing in  deserted agriculture fields in Mamada mandal 
Goats, sheep and cows and buffaloes have become victims of the severe drought experienced in the district. Cattle grazers are taking the cattle to distant areas in search of green pasture and water.

Agriculture fields have turned into barren lands with no water and no one cultivating them. Officials have failed to provide fodder to the cattle. 

Agriculture lands wore deserted in Nirmal Assembly constituency and the cultivation of crops has become horrible even in the areas known for irrigation under canals for a long time.

Some of the cattle collapse and succumb to the high temperatures while in search of food and water and cattle grazers falling prey to the high temperatures in the process.

The canals are dried up and covered with bushes, indicating the extent of the farming community got affected with drought in Nirmal division.

One can hardly find water in the cement tubs constructed along the roadside in the villages for cattle to quench their thirst and this situation is attributed to the shortage of drinking water.

Villages in Mamada mandal were well known for agriculture and commercial crop like turmeric and maize, paddy but it is difficult for find crops in the agriculture fields.

Most of the small and marginal farmers had left their lands without cultivation. The area of paddy cultivation was not even crossed 1,000 hectares this Rabi season and this shows that gravity of the drought and water shortage.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Indravelli's victims shun outside world

The incident of police firing against Adivasis seems to have changed the Adivasis’ perception of police, forest officials and non- tribal; this is very much evident today.

Adivasi leaders say they have failed to ascertain the information regarding the deaths of the kith and kin killed in Indravelli massacre as victim’s families don’t reveal anything.           

They won’t share any information with the non-tribals, police, and forest officials and try to avoid interacting with them. The Adivasis even hesitate to share any information with the government employees or officials when they were collecting data with regard to government schemes.             

It is very difficult to engage the Adivasi elders and children alike in discussion and elicit their views on any issue. They maintain silence and are tight- lipped.   

Even 35 years after the Indravelli police firing that took place on April 20, 1981, Adivasis are not ready to reveal the death of their family members who died in incident.

It is said that most of the deaths were suppressed by then authorities and the Adivasis also did not reveal the death of their kith and kin in the police firing due to fear of backlash and police harassment.

There is no clarity on the number of Adivasis killed in the police firing on that fateful day and how many persons died with injuries later and a number of persons missing from the day of the incident.

It is said that many bodies were found in the forests and streams in the following days and it is suspected that the panic gripped Adivasis might have tried to escape with injuries they have suffered in the police firing and succumbed to injuries.          

Adivasi leader Atram Bhujangarao who was trying to list out the Adivasis killed in the Indravelli police firing, regretted that victims’ families are not coming forward to furnish the information about the deaths as they have not forgotten the horrific incident of Indravelli and were not mingling freely with the people from the mainstream.

Adivasi remains in their homes or closes the doors on seeing police, forest officials, non- tribals or new person entering into their village or coming close to their houses and will not share any information about incident by simply saying that he or she was not present in the village or went somewhere when the incident took place.     

Adivasis leaders say more than 150 Adivasis including women died in Indravelli  police firing but the official say that only 13 Adivasis and a police constable died in the police firing on that fateful day.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Amid heat wave, brick kiln workers suffer

Labourers working at brick kilns are the real victims of the high temperatures being recorded these past few days in the Telangana. 

Most of the workers , who hails from other states, endure additional 2-3 degree Celsius temperatures, residing just beside the brick kilns which burn most of the time.

Though the laborers work in making bricks in the morning or evening they can’t escape from heat emanating from the kilns. With the mercury rising up to 46 degree Celsius, they face nearly 50 C where they live. 

Their kids play alongside the kilns along the road in Surjapur on the outskirts of Khanapur mandal headquarter. The contractors do not make special arrangements for the laborers.

Contractors continue working the kilns in the hot summer as manufacturing bricks in the rainy season will be difficult. The work will have to be suspended off and on  to avoid bricks getting drenched. There will be good demand for the bricks because of ongoing construction activity.

Working conditions are horrible for the laborers at brick kilns as smoke emanates from the burning brick kilns cause suffocation to the laborers in addition to the high temperature.

A labourer, on condition of anonymity, said that the workers were facing unusual temperature in the premises of brick kilns where they work and reside. Sometimes they faint and return to work after they are revived, without taking much rest on the instruction of their contractor. 

Labourers die of heat for want of shade, water

Five peacocks died  due to shortage of drinking water in Karimnagar 
Eleven MNREGS labourers died of sunstroke and other complications at various places due to temperatures above 46 Degree Celsius in the district since the last 15 days.

The labourers’ lives had been at stage also because of a lack of shelter and water at the work site.

The District Water Management Agency( DWMA), the implementing agency of MNREGS has not been providing water not erecting shades at the work site.

The officials concerned usually ducked responsibility by citing drinking water shortage and asking the labourers to work only in the morning hours and evening to avoid high temperatures in the afternoon and carry their own water.

The DWMA was earlier paying an additional Rs 2 a day an additional to each labourer who carried his or her own water and Rs 5 a day to each labourer if they carried 5 litres of water to the work site for their own consumption.  

DWMA project director B. Shankar said so far they had officially recorded the death of a labourer duet to sunstroke in Bejjur 15 days ago; he added that they would take consideration of the death only when the labourer had marked the muster on that particular day.

He said they were in the process of calling tenders for purchasing 35,000 shades. About 1.5lakh labourers (job seekers) were working against a total 3 lakh active job card holders in the district.      

They fell sick after being affected with sunstroke and died while undergoing treatment or complained of vomiting and diarrhoea at their home.

Naturally, labourers affected with sunstroke, cannot attend work not sigh the muster. A majority of the workers are not drinking sufficient water too due o a shortage of water while some of them were drinking polluted water.

It is the responsibility of the officials concerned to provide drinking water and ORS kits with primary medical aid and to put up shelters at the worksite.

Officials point out that if they could not provide drinking water to the labourers that why were they paying them additional money.

Rythu Athma Hatyala Nivarana Committee district president Sangepu Borranna said the majority of the supervisor (mate) were not carrying the umbrellas supplied by the DWMA in the past to worksite in the villages in mandals like Bhainsa, Dahegoan, Neredigonda and Boath. They were keeping them at home.             

Drought hits minor forest produce

The drought has affected the yield of minor forest produce in the district. Adivasis collect minor forest produce Thuniki Pandlu, Tuniki Akulu (tendu leaves), Morripandlu, Mahua, Palapandlu and many other fruits available in the forests in the summer.

They say they are hardly finding fruits in the jungle due to lack of good crop because of no rains. Earlier, elders and even children used to go into nearby jungles and collect the minor forest produce.

A collection of minor forest produce is no more generating an additional income for the Adivasis like in the past when they used to get more verities of fruits in the forests during the summer.

The Thuniki Pandlu (fruits) have been seen rarely these days in the markets days as their availability has come down drastically with beedi leaves contractors and collectors cutting off the trees to get leaves easily instead of wasting time in fluking each tendu leaf.

Sometimes tendu leaves contractors to burn the tendu trees to ensure the growth of fresh leaves and this results in fall in the number of tendu trees in the forests.

Kanaka Bheembai, of Marlavai in Jainoor mandal, said that there is no much minor forest produce is available in the forests to collect due to lack of rains and some  

Adivasis are scared of entering forests to collector minor forest produce with the fear after forest department setting up CCTV cameras and dug up big trenches.

She said most of them avoiding collecting minor forest produce in the jungles due lack of water and high temperatures and added that a bear which came out of the jungles in search of water attacked a villager in his agriculture fields near forests few days ago in her village.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Eco-tourism to curb Maoist activity

The state government is combating Maoist activity through determined and large –scale laying of Panchayat Raj, R & B roads and promoting eco- tourism in the Naxal- affected areas. These strategies are likely to push the Maoists into a further corner further of north Telangana in the days to come.

Adilabad district alone is seeing the laying of these roads at a cost of Rs 1,390 crore. Naxal activity has declined in north Telangana with the substantial improvement of road connectivity in the interior areas in last 20 years under successive state and Central government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana, Backward Regional Grant Funds (BRGF) and also with the World Bank’s funds.

Minister for forest and environment Jogu Ramanna said so far road and bridge works worth of nearly Rs 550 crore out of allocated sum of Rs 1,390 crore had been completed at various places including interior areas. The remaining works would take place at different levels in the district.

Huge road laying activity and newly laid roads have been seen in the rural and interior areas in the course of last one year in the Adilabad district.    

The state government is focusing on laying internal roads from villages to mandal and mandal headquarters to district headquarters and converting the existing roads into double roads. Some of the proposed road works in interior forest areas were yet to take off due to lack of clearance from the forest department.

The Tourism department has come out with eco- tourism projects and trekking tours in the jungles that were  once the strongholds of Maoists from Adilabad via Karimnagar, Warangal, and Khammam districts.

The Maoist activity will quite naturally decline in these areas with the buzz of  tourist arrivals becoming regular.

It will also become easier for the police to visit the interior areas and increase surveillance on Maoists and their sympathizers’ activity, if any, and develop a better informant networks if there is road connectivity to the interior areas.     

The central government is also encouraging the installation of cell towers in the interior and Naxal- affected areas to improve communication networks in a bid to control Maoist activities. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Heat slows down work in Adilabad

 Tank works under Mission Kakatiya
The prevailing heat conditions hit the works of tanks desiltation under the second phase of Mission Kakatiya and works are yet to take off in the district. District is witnessing 45- 46 Degree Celsius temperature these days.    

The tenders have finalized to all the works under the second phase but pending works of tanks taken up under first phase not yet completed though the last date was extended many times.

It is very difficult to take up desiltation works in the prevailing conditions before the onset of monsoon. This year, good monsoon are forecasted.

Operators of machines are facing difficulty in operating machines used in desiltation works of tanks under Mission Kakatiya.

A contractor, who has taken up tank desiltation works in Adilabad said they were also facing a shortage of drinking water to the workers engaged in the tank works.  The workers were not showing interest to work under high temperatures resulting in slowing down works.              

According to sources, so far works of 350 tanks out of 558 were taken up were completed under the first phase.

While 539 tanks were proposed and among them survey conducted for 350 tanks and tenders completed for 120 tanks in the district.        

Toilets in TS schools up girl's attendance

Attendance of girl students increased 12 percent after constructing toilets and maintaining them properly in the government schools under Prime Minister Swacch Vidyalaya programme in the last academic year in the district.

The Central government has sanctioned 4,312 toilets to 3,989 government schools in the district. The estimation cost of the each toilet is Rs 1.25 lakh.

The Central government has selected the Adilabad district as a best district in constructing quality toilets, with water supply , proper maintenance even in the schools located in interior agency areas. 

Adilabad district was selected for best district award under Swatch Vidyalay category at the national level for completing the construction of toilets taken up in the schools in time.

Teams from Central government and also a team appointed by the Supreme Court to assess the status of toilets and their usage visited the government schools last year. Adilabad is the only district from South India which was selected for national award under Swacch Vidyalaya category.

Collector M. Jagan Mohan said that 12 percent increase in the girl students’ attendance was noticed after constructing the toilets in the government schools and hoped that attendance will increase further in the new academic with the message that all the government have good toilets with proper maintenance.

He observed that parents do not send their adolescent girl children to schools without proper toilets.

The construction of toilets completed in time with the cooperation was due to the cooperation of the school management committees and parents of the students, he said adding that they also created awareness to the girl child on how to maintain  clean toilets and personal hygiene.

District officials recruited workers with Rs 3 honorarium to clean the toilets in the schools.

Officials say that people are coming forward to construct individual sanitary latrines seeing their success in government schools in their respective villages.

The collector will receive an award for his service from Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a function on April 21. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

WHO alerts Adilabad

The World Health Organization (WHO) has alerted the district administration through Government of India to take early preventive measures to check the spread of malaria in the district, in the wake of last year’s experience.

According to official sources, 9,965 malaria positive cases of malaria , including 8,990 Plasmodium Falciparum were detected and the ITDA declared 69 deaths due to malaria in the last year and all the victims were Adivasis.

The medical department has screened 1, 06,142 people last year in the district.  

Authorities of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), Government of India alerted the district administration to check for malaria cases.

The number of malaria positive cases reported from the district last year was alarming as it is the highest recorded in a particular place in the Asian continent.

District Malaria officer Alham Ravi said they will launch mass screening of population in 599 villages in five high-risk Jainoor, Sirpur( U), Narnoor, Indravelli and Utnoor which are malaria prone mandals. Official identified 812 high- risk villages in the entire district.

Meanwhile, it is feared that the number of high- risk villages may rise to 1,350 – 1,500 this year. The aim of the mass screening programme is to detect the malaria positive cases, if any, to take preventive measures well in advance, before the onset of monsoon, and to avoid a possible outbreak of an epidemic.

Sources said, two malaria positive cases were detected one each in Narnoor and Jainoor mandals when tests were conducted in six villages last month and this indicates that the situation might be riskier in the rainy season.

Project officer, ITDA, Utnoor R.V. Karnan has recently written a letter to the principal secretary, Health department Rajeshwar Tiwari explaining the existing  situation, past experiences and sought the supply of drugs, insecticides required and wages to workers to spray insecticides to kill the larvae of the mosquitoes before the onset of the rainy season. He also asked for a supply of mosquito nets to distribute among the Adivasis.          
As part of the mass screening programme, malaria officials and staff will collect blood samples in six identified villages in Narnoor, Jainoor and Sirpur (U) mandals  where a high number of positive malaria cases were reported last year.

The screening is aimed at confirming if people have malaria parasite in their body even before the onset of the monsoon or if they are just being affected only during the rainy season.

Malaria officers of five districts and the state director of NVBDCP Dr Prabhavathi and Zonal Malaria officer Dr Jayasri, Additional DMHO Prabhakar Reddy will monitor the screening of blood samples to be taken up in six villages in five high-risk mandals in Utnoor division. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

School fee adds to farmers' burden

Private English medium education has weakened the farmers financially as it has become an additional financial burden on them amid tough seasons of agriculture.
Even the poor are spending thousands of rupees as education fees. 

Farmers feel that English medium education is a must for their children to survive in this competitive world.

A large number of parents send their children to English mediums schools located in mandal headquarters. 

English medium in government schools if introduced would show a positive impact on farmers and it will reduce the financial burden on them.

It is estimated that some of the farmers are spending an average Rs 20,000 per annum on the education of their each child.

Prof M. Kodandaram, chairman of TJAC who recently visited the Adilabad, said poor farmers of each village spending nearly Rs 40 lakh per year, an average Rs 20,000 per student, on the education of 200 children studying in private English medium schools.

“Sending children to English medium private schools has become an additional financial burden on the farmers already in deep crisis due to the low yield of crops, low remunerative prices, and successive droughts”, he observed and demanded that state government should introduce English medium in government schools so that parents can save money.

According to figures, nearly 52 percent of children are studying in English medium private schools while 48 in government schools in the state.

The number of rural students studying in private English medium schools has increased in the last 10 years due transportation facility being provided by the school managements and also due to parents realizing the importance of the 

Dry ponds hit livelihood of dhobis

Washermen at work in Boath mandal headquarters
The prevailing drought conditions have hit the livelihood of washermen as many of them have stopped washing clothes with water in streams and rivulets getting dried up in the villages.

Meanwhile, a few washermen are washing clothes in the available muddy water itself in the local streams in Boath mandal headquarters while a few others are washing in the houses itself if the inmates are providing them water, either though borewells or other sources.

Sensing that there is no fresh water in the water bodies, some families have stopped giving clothes to the washermen fearing that they might contract some skin diseases if they are washed in muddy water.
The washermen are demanding that the state government should construct dobhi ghats and provide sufficient water at those so that they can earn a living. There are reports of washermen fainting while washing clothes in the open in the scorching heat.  

Sirra Narsavva, of Tejapur village in Boath mandal, said only two washerman   families of the total seven in the village were washing clothes at the local stream as  water in it has almost dried up due to the dry conditions. “I stopped washing clothes 20 days ago due to lack of water”.

“The government should construct dobhi ghats and provide water so that we can make both ends meet’, she said.

Traditional milk producers are also facing trouble due to lack of grass in fields and fodder and drinking water for the livestock. The milk production has come down considerably due to high temperatures and insufficient fodder. There is a huge shortage of fodder in the district and officials have failed to provide food to animals.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Drought makes leaders, officials richer

Forest Minister Jogu Ramanna has assigned project officer R.V Karnan the task of conducting an inquiry into misappropriation of funds and bogus works ostensibly initiated under various drinking water schemes.

These schemes include digging borewells and transportation of potable water, all intended to alleviate the suffering of people who are still walking long distances to collect water for the daily needs. The project officer must submit inquiry report in one month.

This move comes in the wake of allegations about widespread misuse of funds, meant for the digging of borewells, rural drinking water projects and transportation of potable water under various schemes from 2009 to 2014, that is before the state’s bifurcation.

A sum of Rs 10.40 crore in the special fund was released to alleviate the drinking water problem in the district.

In most cases, contractors, officials, and political leaders were hands in glove on the various drinking water schemes taken up in the past in the district. 

These schemes were taken up with the help of the MPLAD funds, Nabard, World Bank, on- CRF grants (Central Road Fund grants), ITDA, RWS and Assembly Constituency Development Programme Schemes.                

Khanapur MLA Azmeera Rekha Naik has alleged that bills were claimed without borewells being dug and nor overhead tanks being constructed by contractors at various villages in her Assembly constituency.

In most cases, contractors, officials, and political leaders colluded in various drinking water schemes that have taken up in the last five years in the district. These schemes were taken up with       

People further alleged that depth of borewell inflated beyond the actual depth to which digging took place and contractor claimed money for the inflated depth.

Collector M. Jagan Mohan said that they would make digging borewells a priority, second only to digging open wells and later transporting the water to the villages that were facing acute drinking water shortage.

There are pending bills to the tune of Rs 11 crore regarding potable water transportation and borewells dug in the past. Rs 28 crore was released recently to the gram panchayats under 14th Finance Commission.

Now, MPTC, ZPTC, and Sarpanches are eyeing the special funds and Finance Commissions too under the guise of addressing the drinking water problem in the district.

Nearly Rs 70-80 lakhs out of special funds to be allotted to each Assembly constituency for this purpose this summer.      

Mancherial MLA Diwakar Rao said that Sarpanches were not ready to release the funds they got from 14th Finance Commission for drinking water problem, and it was better to use special funds to reach drinking water to the people.           

Friday, April 8, 2016

Regulate marriages of sickle cell diseased to save Adivasis

The Adivasis of Adilabad are experiencing a significant health adversity due to sickle cell anemia, a hereditary disease. 

Medical experts have identified cross- cousin marriages within the community as a major contributing factor to sickle cell disease.   

Officials and medical experts opine that regulating unions between the sickle cell carriers, positives, and normal people were the only way to prevent the disease from being carried over to the successive generations.

“Five percent Adivasis are suffering from sickle cell anemia in the district. This is an alarming figure, and it is high time we control its spread”, said R.V Karnan, Project Officer, ITDA, Utnoor.

The Integrated Tribal Development Agency officials are planning to issue health cards about the status of sickle cell disease after screening nearly 5 lakh Adivasis in the Adilabad.

This measure also adopted in Gujarat at the behest of the Tribal Welfare Commissioner, Government of India and also counseled prospective brides and grooms about their health status and took preventive measures against the birth of children who were sickle cell positive or carrier.  

The incidence of sickle cell disease, seen in the Adivasis in the Telangana, is high among the Gond, Pardhan, Thoti, Koya Adivasis. 

Blood tests conducted by 40,732 students of Ashram schools and among them 2,600 students found sickle cell active.  Efforts are being made to screen students the junior colleges also after reopening colleges in the Utnoor division.

According to medical experts, there are chances of 50 percent children being born as carriers, 25 percent as positive and remaining 25 percent as healthy if two carriers got married.

As many as 50 percent children would be born as carriers and another 50 percent as normal if a normal and carrier got married. There were chances of 100 percent children being born sickle cell active if two sickle cell diseased got married.

The ITDA will issues while cards to the healthy people, complete yellow cards to sickle cell carriers after screening the Adivasis.

A doctor involved in the research opined that they could not impose scientific research on the Adivasis as they had their set of customs and traditions. They would have to accept the ground realities to save future generations from major health problems that posing a threat to their very existence.                    


Unity will get you respect : Kodandaram

TJAC Chairman Prof M.Kodandaram appealed to the farmers to unite to force the government to change its policies in their favor.

Political parties and governments will not respect farmers unless they unite and form their associations, he said.

Prof Kodandaram demanded that state and Central governments should declare the Adilabad and Khammam drought affected and give all mandatory benefits to the people. 

Participating in interaction with farmers and villagers at Tejapur village in Boath mandal as part of Karuvu Adhyayana yatra, Prof Kodandaram said farmers will make any impact on political parties and governments only when they are organized and emerge as a strong force.

He said political parties listen to farmer’s woes and demands only when political parties consider them as a significant vote bank, and this was possible if farmers unite.   

Prof Kodandaram questioned the farmers why not they form Rythu JACs when their women had formed SHGs and were making efforts for their empowerment bargaining with the state government.

Kodandaram made it clear that nothing concrete came out of discussions concerning farmers and Agriculture crisis and drought held in Assembly sessions, and they were waiting for the government’s decision on the steps to be taken for the welfare of the farmers on the directions of High Court.

He said farmers should tell the ill effects of the drought they have been experiencing to state and central governments because the governments declared that there was no drought in Adilabad and Khammam districts in the Telangana. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Leafy vegetables in good demand as mercury rises

Leafy vegetables are in good demand in the wake of hot summer. The prices of leafy vegetables increased two folds and also their sales as they are popular Chaluva Akukuralu (cool leafy vegetable).

People preferring green leafy vegetables more in the hot summer as they contain water quantity and that keeps the body cool. People are purchasing more leafy vegetable such as Gangavailikura and two varieties of Thotakura these days. These vegetables are popular as summer leafy vegetables.

Ramagiri Rajalingu, a roadside vender at Ichoda, said he sells nearly 100 bundles of ‘Gangavailikura’ alone per day besides other leafy vegetables and people asking for leafy vegetables more as temperatures rise. ‘He sells two bundles of Gangavailikura for Rs 15.'

Farmers are growing leafy vegetables during summer on seeing the demand for them and getting good profits when compared to other crops, but irrigation facility is vital to growing these leafy vegetables.

Curry with Gangavaili leafs mixed with mango is popular as it gives different taste beside the water content.

Vegetable cultivation is picking up in Utnoor division and Adilabad divisions. But, most of the farmers who grow vegetables are not getting good prices while middlemen are making brisk business.

Growing the vegetables to meet the demand is very important otherwise the prices will fall when there is good yield like tomato. Most of the tomato farmers had incurred huge loss, as there was no price.

Some of the farmers even left their standing tomato crop for cattle grazing, as they were not even getting money equivalent to their transportation charges when they sell the tomato.

Wild animals fall prey to dirty water

Polluted water is playing havoc with the lives of wild animals this summer in the Kawal Tiger Reserve in the Adilabad district.

According to veterinarians, wild animals are falling sick after consuming contaminated water in the forest.

A veterinarian who attended the dead ‘ Neelgai’ confirmed that animal died after drinking polluted water in Kadam forest range. There have been many such incidents that have gone unreported and unnoticed in the last two months.  

Besides, wild animals which venture out of the jungles in search of drinking water area falling prey to poachers. The severe drought forced the forest animals to depend on polluted water just remained in the local streams and rivulets.

Forest officials have dug up borewells at a few places to fill the water tanks in the forests to quench the thirst of the forest animals after they realized the severity  of the drought on forest animals but veterinaries feel that the efforts may well be too late.

Many forest animals recently died due to various reasons in Laxmipur, Gangapur, Allampalli and Kadam beats come under Kadam range. The local people say that there is lack of supervision of higher ups on field level staff.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Farmer suicides on the rise in Adilabad district

  Rythu leaders collecting information about deceased  farmer 
The farmers who lost their standing crops and did not get remunerative prices to their crops are committing suicides. Farmer suicides are the rise in the last two months with changed weather conditions.

They say there is no use giving uninterrupted power supply for nine hours to agriculture when the area of cultivation has reduced to minimal in Rabi.
According to sources, eight farmers committed suicide in January, 10 in February and five farmers in March.

Most of the farmers are in a deep depression with the successive drought conditions and its impact on their life.

Rythu Athma Hatyala Nivarana committee district convenor Sangepu Borranna said farmers’ suicides may rise further before the June as weather conditions seem unfavorable.

Farmers are under pressure from various corners including private moneylenders, bankers, and drought: he said and added that there was a huge delay in payments to farmers for red gram purchased by Markfed.   

Young farmer Bahune Srinivas, 27, unmarried, committed suicide by hanging himself in his Agriculture field in Sundaragiri village in Jainad mandal on March 30. He had taken up agriculture in their six- acre land after his father died last year.

There are severe allegations that the banks are not extending required amount of finances to the small and marginal farmers whereas influential big farmers are getting larger funding.

More over the institutional support regarding loaning is very much needed to purchase seeds,  agriculture operations from April month itself but most of the banks start loan disbursement in the middle of the May or even in June. Meantime, farmers approach intermediaries and take loans at exorbitant interests.