Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Friday, January 09, 2009

A happy farmer near MHOW, Indore

When one travels by road or rail in India, it is such a pleasure to watch green pastures flit by. Thankful for a chance to stop on the way back from Paataal Paani in MHOW, MP, we yielded to the standing invitation of verdant countryside to stop and quietly appreciate the hands that till and toil hard for our tables to remain supplied.....

Indore district has plenty of seasonal potato cultivation. We could see expanses of the plants in various stages, while driving through to tourists spots in the district. Eyes sore from cities' concrete jungles, one cannot have enough of watching welcoming green acres, and we stopped to talk to a proud farmer, Mr B, who willingily shared details of his 'bread and butter'. We came away from the fields as contented as that smiling, optimistic land care-taker.

As a keen follower of P Sainath's articles and reports on the unhappy farming households of (mostly central) India, and the figures that always bring tears to the eyes, Gandhiji's words are always in my mind - "India lives in its villages". And the family is happy to watch 'Krishi Darshan' 'Pon Vilayum Bhoomi' 'Krishi Deepam' and reading the 'Agriculture' pages in the newspaper.
[Of the rural farming situation in India, Sainath has said - "The agrarian crisis is about a much wider rural distress. It's a crisis driven not by drought or natural calamity as Mr Sharad Pawar has said in the Parliament. And he didn't use the word crisis. It's a crisis driven by policy; global, national, local. Ok, why did this happen? It happened because through the reform years, we've been diverting resources, we've been robbing the poor to pay the rich. Now I cover guys who commit suicide because they're not able to get less than 10% interest on Rs 8000 crop loan. I go back to my urban middle-class home in Mumbai where I get an invitation from my bank 'buy a Mercedes Benz, no collateral at 4% interest'. So if you're buying a Mercedes Benz – unproductive expenditure – you pay virtually no interest. If you are the food producers, you're paying two to three times that interest. That's the sheer injustice of it." ]

Would that our Government let all our farming communities, nation-wide, be as happy and contented as Mr B.

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Blogger Indrani said...

Lovely post, Swarna. Reminds me of the recent trips taken.

09 January, 2009  
Blogger Dev said...

Hi Swarna... thanks to a google blog alert on Mhow I was able to get to this blog of yours... nice to see these posts about Mhow even though i have seen some of these on your sulekha blog too... more power to your pen... regards.. dev

p.s. do visit my blog Mhow Ki Khabrein http://bloggerdevkumar.blogspot.com/ when you get the time. you can also access it by clicking on my name.

10 January, 2009  
Blogger Swarna said...

Indrani, Dev, thanks

10 January, 2009  
Blogger Happy Kitten said...

That was a good one...

It is always a pleasure to see a cultivated field.. I dont know why it is also comforting to just watch them..

Thank you also for the link to indiatogether..

Sainath has written so well on the problems and solutions.. is anyone listening?

11 January, 2009  
Blogger Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Swarna

Very interesting post.

Your comment on the neglect of farmers by the government and banks is disheartening. Living in villages and cultivating food products is becoming highly unattractive for small farmers. This is why we find a huge exodus of these poor people to cities and the growth of slums and miserable living conditions.

When I was working in Madhya Pradesh with headquarters at Bhopal, I was a regular visitor to Indore. I remember passing through MHOW, a military cantonment area. If I remember right, that is the way to go to Maharastra border. There is a huge industrial estate at DEVAS near Indore.

In winter, agricultural products like potato, tomato, onions etc. become very cheap in MP.

Many thanks for the thought provoking post and lovely photos.

Have a good day

13 January, 2009  

I feel exactly like Happy Kitten, a pleasure to see a cultivated field. Nice pictures, Swarna.

13 January, 2009  
Blogger Swarna said...

HK, JP, Raji, thanks
JP - I think the Govt can and should do much more for the farming community's happiness.

14 January, 2009  
Blogger Kat said...

Good thoughts and questions Swarna.

The farmer who is supposed to be supreme, really gets a raw deal. Our system needs a lot of tinkering.

15 January, 2009  

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