Pimpri: The agrarian crisis in the State is not merely restricted to the agriculture economy. It has also hit the social life in rural Maharashtra.
A sample survey conducted in 45 villages in Ahmednagar district by social activists Heramb Kulkarni and Vitthalrao Shevale has revealed that young bachelor farmers are finding it difficult to get brides.
Farmer parents are reluctant to choose farmers as grooms for their daughters. The survey has startling findings that indicate a disturbed social environment in rural
The survey was conducted in 45 villages in Akole and Sangamner talukas of the district. It was found that 3,068 eligible bachelors between the age group of 25 and 40 years are waiting to get married. Of these 774 are between 30 and 40 years of age.
This has upset the family system in rural areas.
Farmers are facing the worst crisis in agriculture, coupled with the declining number of girl children, a major reason being female foeticide over the past two decades. There are less number of girls of marriageable age in villages. Another sample survey of 10 villages in Solapur and one village in Pune district also revealed
Kulkarni told Sakal Times, “When the farmers’ agitation for loan waiver was at its peak, farmer activist Rohidas Dhumal raised the issue of difficulties in arranging marriages of their sons. So, we decided to conduct a sample survey in 45 villages in Akole and Sangamner talukas.”
One of the survey findings states that 2,294 boys are in the age group of 25 to 30 years, while 774 are aged between 31 and 40 years who have been waiting to get married. Most of these youths belong to the marginal farmers’ category while most of them are graduates. Four among them are postgraduates with an MBA degree.
“Since they are engaged in agriculture, they face frequent rejections. Parents of girls reject them even before formal talks of a marital alliance could take place as they know that these boys do not have any other source of income, except agriculture. This problem prevails in all castes,” said Kulkarni.
It was found that two big villages have 300 and 250 such bachelors, respectively. There are 12 villages having over 100 such youths. Eight villages have over 50 such unmarried boys.
Not just marginal farmers, those having a land holding of 10 acres are also facing the problem, revealed the survey. In one case, a family has only 1.5 acres of land with three brothers waiting to get married.
In some of these surveyed villages this year, not even a single person has got married, who is solely dependent on farming. Dnyaneshwar Unde of Pimpalgaon Depa, who serves as an alliance maker in rural areas, said, “I used to arrange around 100 marriages every year a few years ago. However, I could not arrange a single marriage in the past three years. Many parents of grooms have approached me, but not a single relative of a bride has contacted me in the past three years.”