मराठवाड्यातला दुष्काळ आणि लोकांची परिस्थिती पाहून मन अगदीच उद्विग्न झालेले आहे. काल तर काही घटना ऐकून अत्यंत राग आला. क्षणासाठी वाटले बंदुक घेऊन सगळ्या व्यवस्थेला कपाळाच्या मधोमध गोळ्या झाडाव्यात. पण ते शक्य नसल्याने मुख्यमंत्र्यांना आणि उच्च शिक्षण मंत्र्यांना खालील पत्र लिहिले.
---Dear Chief Minister,
You are well aware of the ongoing drought situation in Marathwada and other regions of the state. The situation is far more worse than what is being shown on the TV and explained by the political leaders from the region.
I belong to a farming family from same region. I have come out of that life and would never like to get back to that profession ever. Personally I think of agricultural land as health condition like Diabetes that old generations are gifting to their next generation. I hope soon a lot of people will leave this profession and come out of the false life of false dignity as a Feeder. And everybody knows same has happened with the developed countries. Are they 'really' developed in the inclusive sense? That is another discussion.
That apart, this year is really difficult for farmers across the state and specially Marathwada. We own around 20 acres of land. That is good enough for a middle class farmer to survive. But I know about the income and the way my father taught two of us - my brother and me. I think those were the very difficult years (early 2000) for us. But when I look at situation now of my family and those of others around me, I think those times were far better. Then there were not many options to spend money on - there were no mobiles, no vehicles to consume petrol and an important thing that consumes most of the money now a days - education - it wasn't there. Even there was no hope or dreams of education. So nobody spent money on it. Now almost every farmer wish that his children should get good education - so he puts them into coaching classes - obviously whatever be the quality of education in schools, it's not enough to get into good institutes for further studies - not D.Ed, B.Ed and BA and MA - the most useless ones in today's time - not because what they are - but because the scale and way they are taught and awarded.
Let me again try to come to the point, I know you don't have a magic wand like the one in Harry Potter, but I believe that you have enough powers to take decisions and at least frame some policies for the benefit of those who - I don't know why - still believe in Maay-baap-sarkaar! So, the point is that - one of the major expenditure of the farming family is healthcare. Most of population in rural areas - you won't believe - prefer the private hospitals for obvious reasons of lack of quality and service at government healthcare stations. It's such a deep rooted practice to go to private medical practitioners, that if you go or take your family member to the government hospital it's a social stigma. Let's keep that aside. But in such a utter drought situation also people are borrowing money to meet these expenses. I think government at least now should take its healthcare system to villages and conduct camps, so that a lot of money is saved. Also that will help government hospitals to gain their lost faith. I know they are already flooded with the patients more than their capacity, but government and hospitals and can afford that; already backbone broken farmer family can not.
I think government medical colleges and it's students can help a lot in this regard. Also a lot of CSR funds and developed region's resources can be diverted to these regions for this year to be spent on Healthcare and other possible facilities.
Another issue I would like to bring to your notice is waiver of college fees and preference in government hostel allotment to students from this regions. As an example - recently I gave admission to 2 girl students from my village to Govt. polytechnic after 10th - for the reason they need not to pay for coaching class fees for 11 and 12th - both have got good marks - 90% and 85%. Both got good government colleges and we applied to only government colleges hoping that they will get the hostel which costs just Rs. 2000/year whereas rooms outside cost around Rs. 20,000/year. Despite having such a good ranks they have not got the hostels, such a huge is the competition. But now I can't imagine their parents being able to afford this as both parents have only 2 acres and 5 acres with nothing in it except the white and dry soil at this moment. And we all know room owners don't take soil as rent.
I hope you understand our concerns and will act on this.
If you ask us what we are doing ? We have given around 6 lacs to suicide afflicted families, adopted their children for education and have been doing financial help to at least 20 students per year. I know we still need to do some more. We will definitely try.
The reason for writing to you is Marathwada belongs to State of Maharashtra and most of the people from the region regularly vote and have faith in government.