Looking at the growing number of farmer suicides in his state, Maharastra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that he wanted Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone to engage with farmers against the backdrop of the agrarian crisis.
Maharashtra has witnessed hundreds of farmer suicides over the last few years.
Fadnavis said on Sunday that he would like to give Padukone a mission to engage with farmers.
“When you talk to anybody, the common word we hear is stress. Everybody experiences stress and people have their own ways of dealing with it. There are people who don’t know how to deal with it…There are people who don’t want to talk about it, share it.”
He then went on to point that sometimes senior citizens dialled 100 (the police control room) just to have anyone to talk to.
He then went on to talk about the growing number of farmers committing suicide and said:
“We did a survey (with regard to farmer suicides) in two places and found out that 40 percent of farmers were under stress. More than the package, they need somebody to assure …Reassure them that they exist…They are needed.”
He then went on to say that even politicians led a stressful life and were not immune to facing stress, he said:
“We (politicians) lead a stressful life every day because of the challenges… When we look at newspapers…Media…But we manage it.”
While Fadnavis might have thought of Deepika because of her celebrity status, the fact remains that she is one of the few Bollywood stars to have openly spoken about facing depression
Deepika had also spoken on the importance of spreading awareness about mental health issues.
Anxiety,Depression and Panic Attacks are not signs of weakness.They are signs of trying to remain strong for way too long.
— Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) December 31, 2014
She is, probably, one of the best public figures who can talk to distressed farmers and convince them not to take the drastic step.