Hyderabad: Rythu Bandhu scheme has proven to be more than being a programme providing input assistance to farmers. Each Rythu Bandhu venue is turning out to be a community event, with farmers being provided with not just refreshments or meals, but also first aid and healthcare advice.
Distribution of cheques and pattadar passbooks has provided officials an opportunity to get a peek into the lives of some farmers, the challenges they face and their healthcare needs during their visits to the homes of farmers to hand over cheques.
The past week has demonstrated that the Rythu Bandhu scheme has become much more than just a government programme and how quickly it evolved into a community activity.
People have joined hands with district administrations and local officials to ensure that farmers are not left to their own in the scorching summer by ensuring availability of cool drinking water and, in many cases, butter milk and gruel to provide sustenance to the ryots.
Meanwhile, at all the Rythu Bandhu venues, Health Department has set up first aid centres which have proved to be a boon to many. The health workers manning these centres have not only been handing out ORS packets to farmers to overcome any effects of the heat, but have also been conducting quick health checks and providing medications as required.
At Mallaram village in Bheemdevarapally of Warangal Urban district, not only did the first aid centre distribute ORS packets to all those who came to the meeting, but officials also ensured availability of 108 ambulance just in case such a service was needed.
The community activity has also demonstrated how different people have been working to make the entire exercise a pleasant one for farmers.
This is best illustrated in Narsampet constituency in Warangal Rural district, where in 10 villages, farmers who went to collect their cheques, are also provided with a fresh meal. TRS senior leader and Telangana State Civil Supplies Corporation chairman Peddi Sudharshan Reddy, who arranged for the meals in 10 villages, said while water and buttermilk can quench thirst, it was also important to ensure that farmers do not go hungry. “This is why I chose to arrange for the meals,” he said. Sudharshan Reddy said he will continue to do so till May 18 at each of the Rythu Bandhu meetings in the constituency.
And in banks where farmers have been queuing up to encash their cheques, local police in several districts have stepped in by providing buttermilk to help the farmers keep the effects of summer at bay.
In almost all districts, officials have been getting a first-hand look at the lives of some farmers during their visits to their homes or even hospitals, to hand over the cheques and pattadar passbooks. Distances have not mattered in such cases as was proved by Mahabubnagar district Collector Ronald Rose who travelled 70 km to hand over the Rythu Bandhu cheque to a pattadar of Damaragidda mandal.
The Collector visited the farmer, suffering from cancer and receiving care at the palliative care unit at the Government Hospital in Mahabubnagar, and handed over the cheque.
Similar instances have been reported from other districts, including Nalgonda where officials visited the house of Burra Muthaiah at Anjanapally village of Tripuraram mandal to hand over the cheque for Rs 4,000 for the one acre of land he owned. Officials also went to the house of 60-year-old Chand Bi, recovering from a fractured leg, at her house in PA Pally and handed over the cheque.