Techies raise funds to repay loans of 121 Vidarbha farmers


Nation, Current Affairs

The NGO plans to seek funds from its foreign-based volunteers also.

Villagers gather to fetch water, after spotting a water tanker filling a well in Shahpur in Maharashtra on Monday. (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: In a noble move, a group of IT professionals has come together to raise funds for repaying loans of over 100 debt-ridden farmers in drought-hit Vidarbha region, notorious for farmer suicides.

The IT professionals have united under the banner of an NGO, Apulkee (sense of belonging), with an objective to help debt and drought-ridden 121 farmers in five districts of the cotton belt.

The NGO has so far raised Rs 3 lakh from people who are known to IT professionals and their circle of friends and companies. It aims to collect Rs 85 lakh to close the loans of the identified farmers. Describing the criteria for selecting the farmers, Mayuri Dhavale, a senior associate working with Apulkee, said, “We shortlisted most affected five districts of the state and then zeroed in on marginal farmers with less than 5 acres of landholding. Additionally, priority was given to the families affected by farmer suicides.”

The list was prepared after sifting through data provided by local NGOs and volunteers associated with Apulkee. Teams visited the selected farmers to study their current condition and collected 7/12 extract (a key land ownership document) along with bank and loan details. The NGO plans to seek funds from its foreign-based volunteers also.