For those of us who have been saddened by the numerous instances of our farmers committing suicide, it is indeed heartening to see an IAS officer, of over 16 years service (Meeta) and her historian husband(Rajivlochan) undertake a serious study of the subject. Meeta has considerable work experience in rural and tribal development. She is currently Director of State Institute of Rural Development in Maharashtra. Rajivlochan teaches contemporary history at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy of Administration, Mussorie, where the entrants into the civil service are trained. Together they have networked diligently to collect data and to search for solutions. They visited the suicide-affected families and have presented to the reader 148 case studies.
Why do some among our farmers who work hard to produce life-sustaining food for all of us decide to kill themselves? Is it because of indebtedness? Is it the case that farming is not giving them the returns necessary to live a life of modest comfort and minimum dignity?
Is it the case that they have nobody to turn to for assistance and advice?Whatever be the cause, what can be done by the government through its various layers and by the civil society? These are some of the questions dealt with in this book.