Kisan Mitra Helpline was initially set up to address the the problems faced by distressed farmers of Vikarabad district in the state of Telangana, a district with high incidents of farmer suicides. This helpline was launched on Ambedkar Jayanti, on 14th April 2017 by Centre for Sustainable Agriculture with the support of the district administration. Kisan Mitra has now expanded to two other districts, namely Adilabad (Feb 7th, 2018) and Mancherial (March 29, 2018).
The district administration has made the Agriculture Department the nodal agency responsible for coordinating the complete process of this helpline with the help of all related departments at the district level. Centre for Sustainable Agriculture takes the lead in running the Kisan Mitra helpline and handling of individual cases. A team has been appointed to manage the calls from distressed farmers. The project’s field initiatives help with in-person support and to gather qualitative and quantitative data. Lastly, the data from the helpline and field employees is analyzed by the research division to produce documentation that helps the district administration to take pre-emptive measures.
The current status of helpline

 District name Cases received Resolved Pending
Adilabad 1247 591 656
Mancherial 281 81 200
Vikarabad 4060 2314 1746
Total 5588 2986 2602

Source: Quarterly review reports as on 1st October, 2018.
The issues classified under various departments

District Agriculture Revenue Marketing Rural Development
Resolved Pending Resolved Pending Resolved Pending Resolved Pending
Adilabad 147 65 91 416 192 4 21 14
Mancherial 18 9 14 107 9 2 6 7
Vikarabad 902 644 634 726 207 8 95 72
Total 1067 718 739 1249 408 14 122 93

Source: Quarterly review reports as on 1st October, 2018.
The team has received 5588 calls received since inception till 1st October 2018 and resolved 2986 cases during this time. Experience from Telangana show that the call-center has made access to schemes and services easier and faster for farmers. For example, services required from the irrigation (canal repair, flooding of farms, etc.) and electricity (repair of transmission lines, etc.) departments are resolved without farmers needing to physically file a complaint. Information on applications for loans, insurance, schemes, etc. is provided without farmers needing to track down the relevant department. As each case is tracked in a central system, many issues pending for months before raising a ticket have often been resolved in a manner of weeks through the Kisan Mitra system.
Beyond case resolution, the Kisan Mitra team has also proactively taken steps to address the problems of various groups. Meetings were organized with every farmer-suicide family in the district of Vikarabad to review each case individually and ensure any possible support, through ex-gratia, loans, enrolment of children in schools, provision of ration cards and widow pensions, etc. were put in place.
Knowledge of pest and disease attacks, collected through field coordinators, was reported to agriculture department to ensure proactive measures. Access to institutional credit was reviewed by the research department to followup with the District Level Bankers Committee in Adilabad. This helped to facilitate access to more than 5000 tenant farmers to get Loan Elgibility Cards (LEC) and access to credit under Joint Liability Groups (JLGs).  Based on meteorological data provided by the government, the eligible claim amount of farmers  under crop insurance was calculated in Vikarabad and Adilabad and facilitated to access the claims where there were crop failures.