Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, (SSS) based in sugar rich Kolhapur Distict of Maharashtra has emerged as the organized voice of farming community of the state. Founded by Raju Shetti, who has sharpened his passion for farmers in the grooming by Shetkari Sanghatana (Sharad Joshi) for several years, this organization has occupied a center stage in Maharashtra politics today.

Ever since its establishment after split from Shetkari Sanghatana in 2004, the names Raju Shetti and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, (SSS) have become synonymous with the cause of farmers. The alliance with Rayat Sangha in Karnataka and extraordinary support by the media and non government organizations has catapulted SSS and Raju Shetti on national platform as well.

The outfit which has only single MLA in the house of 288, has forced the government to give several rupees a ton for sugarcane. Which has also led to cabinet meetings on the issues of farmers. SSS is a 3 year old organization which has sent ripples in the bastions of sugar barons and made them raise the sugarcane price from pittance to about Rs. 1300.

The outfit which has only single MLA in the house of 288, has forced the government to give several rupees a ton for sugarcane. Which has also led to cabinet meetings on the issues of farmers.

SSS is a 3 year old organization which has sent ripples in the bastions of sugar barons and made them raise the sugarcane price from pittance to about Rs. 1300.

This is the mouth piece of millions of milk producing farmers, who have taken on the powerful milk cooperatives lobby for a fair price.

The dedication and passion for farmers of the leaders of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, has reached such a commanding place in the hearts of farming community of western Maharashtra, that a single call is enough to standstill the giant crushing arms of sugar factories of the state. The millions of farmers joined the ‘Determination March’ [ Nirdhar Yatra] forgetting their political affiliations and braving the powerful sugar and Milk lobby of politicians ruling the state.

The rescue operations lead by SSS team during recent flood and sting operations on corrupt babus have added feathers to the profile of Raju Shetti and SSS.

The realization that mere reactionary acts and occasional outbursts cannot dismantle the deep rooted corruption in the system, Raju Shetti has floated , Swabhimani Paksha, a political avatar of SSS, which has made inroads in recent elections of local self government bodies in western Maharashtra.

“Gentlemen shed the cowardice, and join the politics. Then only, the dirty drainages of politics will be cleansed off.” The catch line of Swabhimani, says it all.