In 2020, the debt burdens of the Punjabi farmers are many times compounded: the COVID pandemic; sudden shut-downs; the contentious new farm bills; farmer protests; reprisals. We need you more than ever!
Thanks to you, we now support 110 suicide-affected families! In addition, your donations provide college scholarships to students from these families who successfully graduate 12th grade. We also direct any additional funds to the "special projects" e.g. contributing to help buy quilts and warm clothing; home repairs; and during online schooling, economical smart phones for school students.
The roots of the agrarian suicide problem are historic. In the 1970s, Punjab was picked for its fertile promise by the harbingers of the Green Revolution. Yet within a decade of the “Revolution,” seeds of agrarian crisis had begun to sprout in the land of promise.
Debt-strapped farmers—due to high costs of inputs, sinking water tables, lack of farmer control over selling prices etc.—are taking the ultimate desperate step: of suicide.
Baba Nanak Education Society (BNES), Punjabi non-profit, has verified close to 2,500 debt-induced suicides in villages from two sub-districts of District Sangrur, only 1 of Punjab’s 20 districts.
Various estimates put the number at 40,000 - 90,000 farmer suicides in Punjab in the last two decades. General apathy by both the State and the Central governments and only sporadic mention in the media, has made the situation worse.
AAF: ADOPT A FAMILY
Adopt-A-Family is a project through which Saanjh (501c3) supports the critical work of Baba Nanak Education Society (BNES), a Punjabi non-profit known for its diligent, steadfast and passionate work in Punjabi villages. True to the spirit of Baba Nanak, BNES has refused to accept destitution as the status quo and has challenged the current order by highlighting the plight of Punjab's farmer, who feed the nation but starve in their own homes.
Without such adoptions, the financial desperation in the family only increases and many families have even witnessed Multiple Suicides: the father, the elder son, the younger son... BNES intervenes on this vicious cycle. Also, its support to families prevents other manifestations of such desperation such as domestic violence, feticide & infanticide.
YOU CAN HELP TODAY!
Saanjh's Adopt A Family program provides a mechanism to adopt families in Punjab where the primary breadwinner has committed suicide, which only multiplies the distress for the surviving family.
For $360 a year, the family is provided support by Baba Nanak Education Society. The money is provided directly to the surviving families with only one condition and qualification: their children stay in school.
The program empowers the families by educating children within their own communities—rather than sending them to distant relatives/orphanages; providing vocational training for the adults (e.g. currently 5 stitching centers are run for girls), and generally intervening on the isolation felt by the debt-strapped families.
HOW THE PROCESS WORKS:
Once the funds are received from DVN we forward all funds to Baba Nanak Educational Society. BNES distributes the funds to the families.
Once you have provided the funds to adopt a family, we will email you details about that family and will be happy to facilitate a visit with the family, if you so wish, next time you are in Punjab. What happens if I make a donation less than $360/ year?
If you are unable to support a family for the full amount we still very much encourage you to donate. Your donation will be pooled with others to adopt additional families and/or provide some backend support for BNES’ operating expenses.
Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions.