In yet another blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, on Wednesday, scrapped the Baliraja Chetana Abhiyan (BCA) launched in 2015 in Osmanabad and Yavatmal districts, which report the highest number of farmer suicides. The government, in a notification, said after a five-year review, it was noticed that there has not been any substantial reduction in the suicides committed by farmers. Therefore, the scheme has been wound up. More than 75 per cent suicides were reported in Yavatmal and Osmanabad because of indebtedness.
Four days ago, the state government had cancelled the pension scheme introduced by the BJP government in 2018 for those imprisoned during the Emergency.
BCA was introduced as one of the ambitious projects by the Devendra Fadnavis government in 2015 in a bid to curb the burgeoning farmer suicides in Yavatmal (Vidarbha) and Osmanabad (Marathwada). However, the implementation started in 2016. The objective was to increase the motivation and boost the morale of farmers in distress. Besides, the scheme was aimed to enable farmers to lead a responsible and meaningful life.
The government also provided financial assistance to the distressed families so that they could start business ventures. Under BCA, the farmers were also encouraged to form groups and use collective negotiation abilities to save themselves from price shocks in the market.
The government, under the project, also tried to divert farmers from sole independence on agriculture so that they start non-agricultural activities. The farmers were provided interest-free loans to the groups formed by them.