Bengaluru: The Department of Technical Education (DTE) has come out with an order to provide free education to children of farmers, who have committed suicide across the state.
The DTE office has in a circular to all government, aided and private engineering and polytechnic colleges asked for details of such students enrolled in their courses for the year 2019-20 to help it extend the scheme to them.
Going by the order, the department will reimburse the entire tuition fee and money spent on hostel, study books, and other fees by these students during their admission for the academic year 2019-20.
Students must file application
The students will have to submit an application in the prescribed form after downloading it from the DTE’s official website www.dte.kar.nic.in and mention their Aadhaar number, their dead father’s Aadhaar card number and details of his suicide. They will also have to submit the certificate issued by the department of agriculture or other competent authority on his death, besides their student ID, and certificate issued by the college principals to establish their eligibility for the scheme.
The DTE is the second government department to provide free education for the children of farmers who have committed suicide in Karnataka. Benglauru North University (BNU) was the first university in Karnataka to announce free education for children of these farmers last year.
“The department has no exact details of how many children of farmers who committed suicide are studying engineering or polytechnic courses in Karnataka at present. It will reimburse their fee once the principals and the students send all the relevant details,” said its officials.
The announcement of free education to children of farmers, who committed suicide by the DTE and other educational institutions comes as a relief for their debt-ridden families as Karnataka has the highest number of farmer suicides in the country after Maharashtra, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, and Punjab.
Overall, 3,737 farmers committed suicide in Karnataka in four years between 2015-16 and 2018-19, which means that two farmers killed themselves every day in the state during this period, according to sources in the state agriculture department.
24% of total deaths along Cauvery belt
A region-wise analysis shows that the five districts of the Cauvery belt, Mandya, Mysuru, Hassan, Chamarajanagar and Ramanagara acount for 24 per cent of farmer suicides in the state, the six districts of the Mumbai-Karnataka region, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Haveri, Dharwad and Gadag, account for 28 per cent, and the six districts of Hyderabad-Karnataka, Bidar, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Ballari, Koppal and Yadgir, for 23 per cent.
According to a study by the Institute of Social and Economic Change (ISEC) and state agriculture department, marginal farmers outnumbered the small farmers in committing suicides in Karnataka and seven per cent of women farmers have also taken their own lives in the state. The majority were illiterate, or had done their primary school. Very few were graduates and postgraduates
Most were in the young or middle–aged and killed themselves by either consuming poisonous substances, hanging themselves at home or from a tree or by jumping into canals, or before a train or bus.
The studies recommend liberal compensation for families of the dead farmers and free quality education for their children among other things....