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Narendra Modi visit: Thumbs-up from farmers, mostly

Around 1.10 lakh tillers from the state have enrolled for the pension scheme

By Vijay Deo Jha in Ranchi
  • Published 13.09.19, 12:08 AM
  • Updated 13.09.19, 12:08 AM
  • a min read
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi hands over a symbolic pension card to Bimla Devi, a farmer from the state, at Prabhat Tara ground in Ranchi on Thursday as chief minister Raghubar Das and governor Droupadi Murmu applaud. Picture by Prashant Mitra

Rinki Devi, from Patna district of Bihar, was nervous. It’s not every day that she gets to share the stage with the Prime Minister.

The mother of three kids was among a few farmers from across the country selected to interact with Narendra Modi as he launched the PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana, the pension scheme for farmers. District administrations had asked for lists of farmers who have enrolled for the scheme, and from those a few were selected.

“I don’t know any other skill other than farming,” said Rinki, who grows paddy and seasonal vegetables on four acres of land.

“My father is a farmer and so are my in-laws. I had not expected that I will be called for this programme. I was nervous when the PM asked how I manage farming and family. Under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, farmers are getting Rs 6,000 annually. Now a pension scheme too has been launched. The future of farmers seems secure.”

Farmers at the PM’s event at Prabhat Tara ground
Farmers at the PM’s event at Prabhat Tara ground (Prashant Mitra)

Thousands of farmers and their family members from across Jharkhand, sporting pink and yellow turbans, were ferried to the ground to hear the Prime Minister.

Around 1.10 lakh tillers from the state have enrolled for the pension scheme.

Kadir Ansari, a resident of Nirsa in Dhanbad district who has one acre of land, said felt farmers of Jharkhand are better off than their compatriots from other states.

“Jharkhand government also provides Rs 5,000 per acre per year. Though this is not a big amount, we can use it to buy seeds and fertilisers. Farming was never a profitable business for me and my wife and parents insisted I should quit farming. But I am not going to quit now,” said Ansari.

His friend Kajal Kumar, another marginal farmer who owns one acre of land, said: “Politicians only paid lip service towards farmers. No farmer wants his son to become a farmer.”

Panchi Oraon and Lalita Oraon from Lohardaga said the government should ensure farmers get proper markets for their produce, and irrigation. Suresh Mahto from Tamar said he has to sell tomato at throwaway prices “because we don’t have a proper market”.