50 farmers died between September to November 2017 in Yavatmal and over a thousand became ill due to pesticide poisoning

From July to November 2017, the cotton growing districts of Vidarbha, mainly Yavatmal, saw a sudden spike in people coming to hospitals with complaints of nervousness, dizziness, visual impairment and stomach aches. All were cotton farmers or labourers who had been contact-poisoned while spraying insecticides in their fields. At least 50 died, over 1,000 became sick, some for months. The disaster exposed the unabated and profuse use of pesticides on cotton and soyabean crop, and will have a lasting impact on the farm economy of Vidarbha.