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Patwaris’ strike continues in Madhya Pradesh, farmers’ crisis increases


The recent ‘monsoon break’ in Madhya Pradesh caused drought-like conditions initially. This break was followed by heavy rainfall resulting in flood-like conditions in various areas. Unfortunately, these extreme weather patterns have severely affected the Kharif crop in the state. To address this issue, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh has promised to assess the damage to farmers’ crops and provide suitable compensation. However, due to an ongoing strike by the Patwaris, who are responsible for conducting the survey, are on strike demanding an increase in their pay scale. And, the government has failed to resolve the situation for the past 26 days. This strike is expected to inflict considerable losses on the farmers. Consequently, concerns have been raised regarding the timing chosen by the Patwaris for their strike.

Patwaris huge protest in Sehore

More than 1200 Patwaris of the Bhopal division gathered in Sehore city, 35 km from the capital Bhopal, and took out a huge rally here and prayed at the Chintaman Ganesh temple. The Patwaris present in the rally said that “the government is not listening to our prayers, so we are going to seek refuge in Lord Ganesha.

Patwari Nilesh Tiwari, posted in Ashta tehsil, said on the problems being faced by the farmers due to the strike,

“Farmers and Patwaris greatly complement each other, as we have been standing in support of the farmers for years. Our fight is not aimed at the farmers, but rather directed towards the administration. Regrettably, Patwaris have faced discrimination in Madhya Pradesh for the past 25 years. Currently, we receive a meager monthly housing allowance of Rs 258, along with a travelling allowance of Rs 300. It is nearly impossible to find a rental house at such a low price in today’s market. For this reason, we strongly urge the government to consider increasing our pay scale from the current Rs 2100 to Rs 2800, as well as enhancing the remaining allowances to alleviate our financial difficulties.”

Akanksha Sharma, who came from Ichhawar tehsil, said that

“The current salary we receive is considerably low, making it incredibly challenging to sustain ourselves in the midst of today’s inflationary era. Therefore, we sincerely urge an increase in our pay scale and prompt recruitment to fill the vacant positions. The lack of employees has resulted in an overwhelming workload for each individual, significantly affecting our overall health.”

What do Patwari do?

Let us inform you that more than 19 thousand Patwaris in Madhya Pradesh have been on strike since August 28th. As a result of this strike, essential services for the common man, such as obtaining caste certificates, income certificates, permanent certificates, and adding names to the ration card list, have come to a standstill. Patwaris hold an administrative role at the village level, responsible for maintaining accounts of agricultural land and its produce. They also oversee land measurement, purchase and sale records, and keep important documents like village land maps, Girdawari reports, Jamabandi sales, revenue collection letters, and Khasra numbers. Furthermore, it is the duty of Patwaris to document the damage caused to farmers’ crops. The ongoing Patwari Strike in Madhya Pradesh will unfortunately lead to delays in farmers receiving much-needed compensation.

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This is not the first time that Patwaris are on strike in Madhya Pradesh. Even two years ago, when the Patwaris did not return from the strike for a long time, the High Court declared the strike illegal and the employees had to return to work. This time also the government is hoping that some way out will be found.

On the other hand, Patwari Sangh has decided to go on indefinite strike (Patwari Strike in MP). It is being told that the Patwaris have chosen this time for the strike seeing the elections approaching. The government is fulfilling the demands of employees of many departments. Patwaris hope that in this environment their demands pending for 25 years will also be fulfilled. Congress has supported the Patwaris and said that if they come to power, they will fulfil the demands of the Patwaris. In such a situation, the pressure on Chief Minister Shivraj to fulfil the demands has increased.

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  • Pallav Jain is co-founder of Ground Report and an independent journalist and visual storyteller based in Madhya Pradesh. He did his PG Diploma in Radio and TV journalism from IIMC 2015-16.

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