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Senior Indian Journalist Says Canada An Escape Route For Jobless Punjabis

Sainath called upon the country’s farmers to demand and force a 20-day-long special Parliament session to discuss the agrarian crisis.

JALANDHAR – Foreign countries, especially Canada, are an escape route for the Punjabis, who are currently facing a job crisis in the state and these countries are serving as a breather for many families to live a quality life, said senior journalist and author P Sainath here on Saturday.

The founding editor of the People’s Archive of Rural India, who is currently visiting farmers in various areas of Punjab, said that in the absence of migration, the suicide rate in the state due to unemployment might have been more as compared to the existing numbers.

Sainath was here to address a function to mark the 200th birth anniversary of German philosopher Karl Marx at the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here.

“A few days ago, I was travelling from Chandigarh to Patiala and the number of IELTS centres I saw on the way was more than I ever saw in Delhi. At a time when there are fewer job opportunities in the state, moving abroad serves as a good alternative for the people in distress and there is nothing wrong in that other than the fact that the skilled people are moving out of the state,” said Sainath.

“Punjabi farmers are normally misrepresented by the media and films. A farmer is stereotyped as a carefree smiling man on a tractor saying ‘Balle Balle’. I agree that people here are cheerful, but this description does not apply to more than 10% of farmers. The number of studies done by universities in Punjab on the current status of farmers shows an extremely high level of indebtedness and I was actually surprised to see that margin per acre is higher than I estimated primarily because you have such high rents and there is also a severe water crisis,” said Sainath on the state farmers.

Sainath called upon the country’s farmers to demand and force a 20-day-long special Parliament session to discuss the agrarian crisis. “At least 10 lakh farmers from the state should move to Delhi and gherao Parliament so that people come to know about the real agrarian crisis that the country is facing today,” said the Ramon Magsaysay award winner.

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