A New Channel 4 report has brought the ground reality to the forefront of the true reality of Punjab farmers. The report highlights the devastation the green revolution caused. Farmers of Punjab are taking to pesticides to take their life after debts continue to mount and crops continue to be ruined.
The overuse of chemical pesticides has not only poisoned the waters of Punjab but lead to the destruction of the soil. The organic materials of the soil are destroyed prompting farmers to purchase expensive seeds and fertilizers. The mass destruction has occurred in the Malwa region of Punjab commonly known as the ‘Cotton Belt.’ The Malwa region has seen the most farmer suicides due to crop destruction of whiteflies.
The overuse of wells has depleted the water of Punjab. The water of Punjab is one filled with chemical pesticides is the number one cause of the skyrocketing cancer rate and deaths in the region. Punjab once hailed as the “Land of Five Rivers” it’s slowly becoming the land of poison.
Despite the high farmer suicides the government has refused to give compensation to the family of the deceased due to classifying their deaths in a category where compensation isn’t given. The farmers say the government will only give compensation according to the method used by the farmers. The deaths resulting from drinking pesticides are only given compensation while deaths from a different method such as jumping from a roof is given nothing.
Punjab has been hailed as an Indian success story: ever since the modern farming techniques of the 60s and 70s transformed the state into the breadbasket of India – helping change the fortunes of a starving nation.
But today, Punjabi farmers are facing an ecological disaster, riddled with debt and death. They are committing suicide in their thousands — and many now face a new menace: heroin.