New Delhi, March 30: Drought-hit Tamil Nadu farmers are in New Delhi demanding central government to waive off their loans. “We demand relief fund from drought-hit farmers, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not ready to help us. We had to eat snake meat yesterday,” AyyaKannu, the farmer leading the protest in Delhi told India.com. He further told us all the farmers are protesting here are in a hope that government does something for them, but so far nothing has happened.
There was no outcome even after meeting Finance Minister, Home Minister, Agriculture Minister -all assured us that Prime Minister will contact us, and our wait is still on. Earlier PM Modi had promised to double the price of agriculture products which is not yet fulfilled, added Kannu.
Kannu, in the national capital, has the support of 60 farmers from Tamil Nadu and all want the central government to pitch in for support in form of relief fund so that something better can be done for the farmers. Also, they want all the rivers of India to be interlinked so that no farmer faces any issue of water, which is highly essential for farming.
Forced to Eat Snakes:
Kannu said that they had to eat snake meat here in the capital of India as they found no help and eating animals was the last option left for them. The farmers holding a protest at Jantar Mantar in the national capital told us that all the farmers had rats in their hands just to demonstrate to the government that at the end of the day they will not have anything to eat, no rice or lentils and the last option will be to eat rats.
Two resident of Tamil Nadu- Dinesh and Stephen had come to the national capital just to support the farmers of their state protesting here. The two told India.com that the farmers protesting here only want the central government to wipe off their loans as they are suffering a lot.
Dinesh and Stephen
Dinesh said: The farmers have taken loans from banks of around 2 lakh rupees and with interest, it has shot up to 6 lakh rupees now, which the farmers are unable to repay. He also said there is no water to do agriculture in Tamil Nadu.
Stephen said: The Tamil Nadu government is not helping as it is busy with by-elections. He further said that farmers are facing an issue as there is no fixed price for farming products, citing the example of tomatoes, he said, farmers at times sell tomatoes for 5 rupees and in the market, it is sold for 50 rupees a kg. Stephen told us that prices have gone up everywhere but in farming, it is only 25 per cent and this is the figure of the past 30 years.
The two told us that the protest is going on for the past 17 days and right now there are 60 people, but on the first day, there were 173 people.
What the farmers are eating and how did they come to Delhi:
They said that the farmers now get food from friends settled in the national capital. Also, to come to Delhi farmers had to sell their personal belongings to manage the train ticket.
Both told us the farmers thought of going on hunger strike for 100 days.