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At a link road leading to neighbouring town Bhuna (Fatehabad), a dalit farmer Prabhu Ram from Dult village in Haryana is staring at crops damaged due to waterlogging following continuous rain.

“We had incurred an expenditure of nearly Rs 4 lakh for paddy crop in 11 acres and Narma cotton in one acre. But now I am not expecting any production in our land-holding,” said Prabhu Ram.

In Dult, Dalit families form nearly 40% of the village’s population of around 3,000. The crop loss is not the only loss the rain has caused to his family. Prabhu Ram said, “The heavy rain damaged our house too which is situated in the agricultural field. With great efforts, we managed to rescue our 12 cows and buffaloes from the falling house but not without injuries.”

A farmer leader Suresh Koth says, “The prices of 1509 variety of paddy have fallen from previous Rs 3,500 per quintal to Rs 2,000 per quintal because of the strike by the arhityas. At the time of agitation against three central farm laws, a brotherhood had developed between the farmers and the arhtiyas. But this strike has created a rift between both segments of the society as farmers have faced huge losses because of the strike by the arhtiyas.”

With farmers and opposition parties seeking compensation for the affected farmers, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday admitted that the crops have suffered a lot due to incessant and unseasonal rain. He said, “Directions have been issued to conduct special girdwari to assess the crop damage.”

The state revenue department has introduced a system on the government’s portal “meri fasal-mera byora” where the farmers can report damage to their crops. However, the government has made it clear that no compensation will be provided to the farmers who are covered under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Mukhya Mantri Bagwani Yojana (MMBBY) and Seed Development Programme.

The government has announced paddy procurement from October 1, but the farmer leaders say preponing of paddy procurement would have provided a relief to them.



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