A Maharashtra-based onion farmer, angry with the Narendra Modi government, sent his paltry income of Rs 1,064 from selling 750 kg onion, to the Prime Minister as a mark of protest.
Interestingly, Sanjay Sathe was among the selected few ‘progressive farmers’ who were picked by the Union agriculture ministry in 2010 to interact with former US President Barack Obama, reported PTI.
Now, after eight years, he could only manage to sell his produce for a little over Re 1/kg. Angry with the government’s apathy towards farmers, Sathe sent the money to the PM and even took the pains to pay an additional Rs 54 to send the money order.
Sathe, a resident of Niphad tehsil in Nashik district, told PTI on Sunday, “I produced 750 kg of onion this season but was offered a rate of Rs 1 per kg at Niphad wholesale market last week.
“Finally I could negotiate a deal for Rs 1.40 per kg and received Rs 1,064 for 750 kg.”
“It was painful to see such paltry returns on four months of toil. Hence I have donated Rs 1,064 to the PMO as a protest. I had to pay additional Rs 54 for sending it by money order,” he added.
“I do not represent any political party. But I am angry because of the government’s apathy towards our woes,” Sathe said.
The onion farmer sent the money order on November 29 from the Niphad post office. It was addressed to “Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India”.
Nashik district in north Maharashtra accounts for 50 per cent of onion production in India.
Asked about his meeting with Obama eight years ago, Sathe said, “I have been using a voice-based advisory service (run by a telecom operator) for farmers for a long time. I used to call them and get information about weather changes, and thus succeeded in increasing my production.
“I had also been invited to speak about my experiments in agriculture on local radio stations of AIR. So the agriculture ministry selected me to set up a stall at St Xavier’s College in Mumbai when Obama visited it. I could speak to him for a couple of minutes through an interpreter.”
Correction: The earlier version of the copy mentioned that the money was sent to the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund. India Today has updated the copy to reflect that the money was sent to the PMO and not the Disaster Relief Fund.