From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not Much
Mains level : Strategies to combat farmer's distress in India
- Farmer suicides, which have till now been studied economically and agriculturally, are now being looked at from behavioural and psychological angles.
Study on farmer’s suicide
- A study is being conducted under the National Agricultural Science Fund of IICAR in three states — Punjab, Telangana and Maharashtra.
- Till now the issue of farmer suicide was being looked at only from economic and agricultural angles.
- The study has looked at it from behavioural, psychological and cultural perspectives in addition to the earlier two.
Major causes of suicide
- Since most discussions and parleys on suicides are overtaken by issues of crop failures, rising debts, new farming techniques, the psychological aspect is largely ignored.
- One of the major causes behind suicidal intent is depression, found the researchers.
- It needs to be understood that at times a farmer under a debt of Rs 2 lakh shows a tendency to end his life, while another under a debt of Rs 10 lakh does not.
Need of the hour: Psychological assistance
- The study suggested roping in psychologists and counselors on various issues.
- They included battling depressive ruminations, suicidal ideations, negative cognitions, hopelessness, helplessness.
- It aimed at recognising and managing stressors like financial distress, relationship problems, and enhancing psychological resources through emotional well being, and mindfulness.
Model of 7’s
- The researchers developed a ‘7D’ model of triggering and confounding factors and a ‘7R’ model of preventive and protecting factors to deal with the problem of farmer suicides.
- Disrepute and
It looks at prevention of suicides. It consists:
- Remunerative agriculture,
- Resilience building,
- Rational expenditure,
- Reassurance through connectivity,
- Righteous conduct,
- Religious support and
- Responsible reporting
- Farmers don’t need money only, they need motivation too.
- Along with subsidies, increased farm profits, the focus should also be on resilience building and problem solving skills of farming families.
- In suicide-prone states, agricultural institutes and scientists should start distributing seeds of resilience, tolerance and contentment among farmers, suggested researchers.
- Agri universities can play a powerful role in dissipating the culture of shame associated with mental illness and depression as it is the fear of stigma that acts as a barrier to seek appropriate treatment.