Guide of Punjabi farmers Farmer from Kandi area

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The Kandi hill region is known for its uniqueness and differences from the rest of Punjab in its culture-civilization, history, geography and agriculture etc. It is well known that huge figures of farmers’ suicides in Punjab become a matter of discussion and concern from the Vidhansabha to the Lok Sabha. But it is also an unshakable truth that the farmers of Kandi never choose the path of suicide even in the most adverse circumstances.

The author of these lines is a resident of Kandi region and belongs to a family of small farmers. Spread over 1414 villages along the Himachal border from Shahpur Kandi in Pathankot to Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Patiala, this semi-mountainous region still lags behind the rest of Punjab in basic amenities. The cultivation of the hilly region of Kandi depends only on the grace of Lord Indra. Maize is the main crop here. There is no alternative means to irrigate about 90 percent of the cultivable land in Kandi. Even if it rains on time here, even if crops grow on rocky hilly land, it is not sure if it rains again on time to irrigate it. Due to lack of rain, even the seed sown by the farmer goes in vain. If luckily the crop grows when it rains on time, then protecting the ripe crop from wild animals becomes the biggest challenge for the farmer. She stays awake on the scaffold for countless nights and sacrifices her life to save her crops from pigs, nilgai, sambhar, monkeys etc. One night’s carelessness destroys his whole year’s earnings. Then his life remains on till the grain is delivered safely from the blinds and storms. Due to small farming in the Kandi area, barely enough food grains are produced. The farmer here remains safe from the spiders of the jobbers and mandis. Often small commission agents and traders themselves reach these villages and buy food grains at a reasonable price. Farmers don’t have to go round the mandis and jobbers.

But sometimes nature is not kind to the farmer of Kandi. Crop is not possible. Even if the crop gets ruined due to drought or wild animals, the farmer of Kandi does not expect any compensation. In such a critical situation, the broken, defeated, tired, disappointed farmer of Kandi does not choose the path of suicide. Many reasons account for this. The biggest reason is that the farmer of Kandi is reluctant to take loan. He survives by eating bread made from pickles and onions even in times of poverty. But he does not get involved in the race of false pomp and show. He is not worried about maintaining his ‘status’. The patience and contentment that he inherited gives him the strength to remain in the will of God. His lifestyle is simple. Does not spend more than his ability on marriage or other occasions. At the time of one’s daughter-sister’s marriage or life-death, the brotherhood there believes in helping each other.

The farmer of Kandi understands and recognizes his limitations and potential very well. He likes to keep his expenses within the limits of his income. He himself works hard in the fields. His farming does not depend on migrant laborers. Most of the sons of the farmers of Kandi serve in the army. Sitting on the scaffold in the fields, the farmer protects his crop from wild animals and his son protects his country from the enemies on the border of the country. The farmer of Kandi does not pollute the environment by setting fire to his fields. He fears God. Believes in nature and luck. When the crop is ruined by drought or wild animals, he goes to the nearby cities to do hard work. But don’t think about suicide.

Of course, roads and means of transport are now available in Kandi area too, but due to the high-low stony hilly terrain, farming by tractors is not possible at many places. There farmers are forced to adopt traditional methods of farming instead of modern techniques. There are no means to ‘fencing’ their fields to protect their crops from wild animals, nor do they get any financial assistance from the government. However, the hilly region of Kandi is becoming a goldmine for the government due to the forest, sand, stone, gravel, soil, gatka and herbs. No government help is available even if he is killed by wild animals while protecting his crops. Due to limited resources, the houses of the farmers of Kandi area are also simple. Priceless tractors, AC cars, motor cycles or luxury equipment are not found in his courtyard. Due to the small amount of land, the farmer of Kandi is often saved from litigation. The farmer of Kandi is not even obsessed with selling his land or taking a loan to send his children abroad.

On the contrary, most of the farmers of the rest of Punjab are victims of all the above symptoms. Many mediums own hundreds of bighas. Of course, their own children work in foreign countries, but their farming is done on the head of migrant laborers. These farmers set up luxurious mansions, buy expensive tractors, cars, luxury items and perform with great pomp and show on weddings, bet their lands or send their children abroad and their ‘ They spend indiscriminately to show ‘status symbol’. They do not hesitate to take huge loans from banks and commission agents for this purpose. Many times, instead of the work for which the loan is taken, they do not hesitate to spend elsewhere.

Don’t even think how to return this money? When it becomes difficult to return the installments of this loan. When the bankers threaten to take possession of the land or houses, then these farmers are forced to choose the path of suicide. What is the reason that even after receiving subsidies for electricity, water, seeds, fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides, agricultural implements and tree plantation etc. and compensation for crops destroyed by natural calamities from time to time, the farmer goes into losses and Takes cowardly steps like suicide. These suicides become a political issue. By stopping the roads and railways daily, it makes life difficult for the general public. Common people have to bear the burden of their waived loans. There is a need to seriously consider all aspects in this regard and we need to take a lesson of patience and satisfaction from the farmer of Kandi.

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