Wanaparthy: For tenant farmers, who have become used to getting exploited since time immemorial, non-payment of Rythu Bandhu amount to them by their landlords does not seem to deter them from carrying out farming activities.
Venkataiah, a tenant farmer from the Boya community and a resident of Solipur in Ghanpur mandal, was all smiles as he engaged women to transplant paddy from nursery stage to transplantation stage in the 10 acres he took on lease from a landlord.
Venkataiah owns two acres in the village and received a Rythu Bandhu assistance of Rs 8,000. When asked if he got any money from his landlord for the 10 acres he took on lease, his answer was negative. “I have taken the land on lease on a 50-50 partnership with the landlord. Whatever cost we have to bear, we share it and whatever returns we get, we share it 50-50,” he told Telangana Today.
In Mohammad Hussainpally village in Ghanpur mandal, a woman tenant farmer was seen with her two sons and their two friends, fertilizing the maize crop which they had sown.
Balamma, the tenant farmer, owns four acres in the village and took two acres on lease from an employee who stays in Hyderabad. The land owner must have probably received the Rythu Bandhu cheque by now. She did receive Rs 16,000 for her own four acres and looked satisfied, even though she feels that the money was just enough to meet the sowing cost. Much more would be needed for input in the days to come. “Just for these two acres, to get seeds, fertilizers, labour for sowing and weeding, I spent Rs 20,000 so far,” she said.
When her son Kurumurthy was asked how they spent the Rythu Bandhu amount, he said they bought fertilizer (pindi), seeds and noodles! Yes, noodles, he said with a chuckle. He said no matter profit or loss, they would have to pay the landlord Rs 2,000 as lease amount.
Though there is a genuine demand everywhere for tenant farmers to be brought under the Rythu Bandhu scheme, the reality is that they just don’t care. Not because they have a lot of money and not because they are strong enough to face losses. It is because they have become accustomed to ‘not expecting anything from anyone’ and because whatever little amount they get from the half or two acres they own, they are content with that.