We Want Justice, say Farmer Suicide Widows
Sangrur, Panjab, India - "I was 19 years old when I got married. Five years later my husband committed suicide because even after selling our land we couldn't settle our debts. We still have a debt of 5 Lakh rupees. I have two kids and I work as a labourer to earn only enough to feed my family", said Rani Kaur, 28, a widow from Lehal Kalan village in Sangrur.
Today is World Day for Social Justice and the tens of thousands of farmer suicide widows of Panjab join all others of the world to say: "We want justice, not charity". What they mean is that their husband had a right to life, which was taken away because of social injustice against farmers who struggle to pay for the cost of farming because of poor prices for their produce and high cost of loans to buy seeds, fertilisers etc.

There are many others like Rani Kaur in Panjab where farmer suicides are a major concern. In a bid to put food on their table, UNITED SIKHS started the Rescue a Family (RAF) project in 2010 after we came to know about the plight of farmer suicide widows in Panjab through the Baba Nanak Educational Society (BNES), who provided us details of the farmer suicide widows. Today we provide a monthly pension of 1000rs to 150 farmer suicide widows from 40 villages in Panjab, on the condition that they continue to send their children to school.
A farmer suicide widow's joy on receiving her first pension from UNITED SIKHS Pinderpal Singh of Bangkok handing the first pension amount to a farmer suicide widow in Panjab, who was one of 100 widows to receive a pension that day.
"We need more sponsors to continue our efforts to help more farmer suicide widows so that their children may receive an education and not drop out of school to work in the fields," said Mejindarpal Kaur, RAF Project Director, who personally meets the families. Click here to watch a video of one of her visits.
In May 2015, as in the previous years, our team from Chandigarh travelled to Sangrur to meet the widows we are supporting. We were accompanied by one our donors, Pinderpal Singh from Bangkok, who wanted to meet the families to hear their problems and offer moral support.
The RAF pensions are sponsored by donors from India, the UK, Thailand, Singapore, Canada, USA and Switzerland. Click here to read about our Rescue a Family project and the farmer suicide problem.
You may sponsor a farmer suicide widow's pension by making a yearly or monthly donation below.

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Issued by: 
Gursimranjit Kaur
Project Coordinator,UNITED SIKHS
E: sikhaid@unitedsikhs.org

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