Psychological Dimension of COVID 19 on Farmers in Rainfed Regions of India

Jagriti Rohit, Anshida Beevi C. N , G. Nirmala, K. Nagasree, K. Ravishankar and V.K. Singh


COVID pandemic hit the farming community harder with its nature of infection and also with various restrictions imposed during the first and second lockdown in 2020 and 2021. The present study was conducted during the year 2021 to study the psychological distress experienced by the farmers in wake of COVID-19 in two surrounding districts of Hyderabad, Telangana namely Rangareddy and Vikarabad. Data was collected from 240 farmers from July to September, 2021 just after second wave of COVID-19. Non-specific psychological distress due to pandemic was measured by the Kessler 10 (K10) scale which is a well validated and widely used scale to measure distress. The findings of the study showed that about 76 per cent of the farmers experienced high to very high level of psychological distress during the second wave of COVID 19. This was attributed to the fact that these districts were dependent on Hyderabad for sale of its produce which was badly affected by pandemic leading to distress. The results further revealed that majority of farmers (85%) involved in full time farming were experiencing very high distress while only 15 per cent farmers having service in addition to farming were in the same category. This highlights the need of providing alternate livelihood strategies for farmers to tide over uncertain circumstances.

Keyword: COVID-19; Distress; Farmers; Kessler k 10; Livelihood.

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