In India, a farmer commits suicide every 2 hours. Many believe that advances in agricultural technology and methods to artificially bolster agricultural yield have made farmers mere users of the same for growing crops, instead of viewing farming as a sacred practice that has been a foundational part of human history which continues to make civilizations possible. This is the view of Savavaya Krishi Pariwara and one of its trustees, Sri Anand A.S. who gave a speech at the Farmers Meet in August 2013, outlining the necessity of a perception shift with respect to farming. The Pariwara grew from individual organic farmers, not connected by any formal organization, to one that grew into a 172 Taluk union across Karnataka by 2013. The organization believes that it is by providing a farmer with a perspective of goal and spirituality on a regular basis that the tragedy of farmer suicides can be stopped.
The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products. Organic farming is a form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost, and biological pest control. When the average consumer is faced with the choice between food that is grown organically versus food that has been produced as a result of the use of chemical insecticides, fertilizers, etc the former is almost always preferred. After all, as the saying goes, “We are what we eat.” Furthermore, organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality.
The Pariwara has been and continues to offer regular training to farmers to continue to promote the practice of organic farming on the last Sunday of every month, to enable farmers and others to attend with relative ease. As Sri Anand rightfully points out, “The fact that a training is carried out on last Sunday of every month, in 172 taluks of Karnataka, by a farmer, for fellow farmers, without any assistance by the government, without any sponsors (like seed/fertilizer selling company) should become a nationwide news. The training is not held at the residence of some rich fellow who is going to provide a variety of dishes – NO. The attendees of the training will get humble food for the stomach and rich food for the brain.” Every month, more people join the family of organic farmers who take the trouble to learn these new practices for the sake of restoring farming to its rightful place as an activity greater than the sum of its parts, and as a service to the nation and the world. While the organization has and will continue to bring about positive change in society, we can also do our part to help the cause. Here are four requirements in which even residents of urban areas can help –
- A sickle that is lightweight and does not become blunt easily
- A pulley that is better than the current French pulley being used
- QUICKR equivalent at the taluk level
- A good interior designer who can give ideas for low-cost, organic, beautiful houses
Furthermore, the organization frequently organizes “Organic Mela,” which is an opportunity to buy organic products directly from farmers. In fact, one recently took place on November 8th and 9th. For more information, please visit http://www.savayavakrishipariwar.org/
In summary, we live in times when people are continuing to realize that we don’t have to settle for the status quo and tolerate tragedies like farmer suicides. Small changes lead to big ones, and the Savayava Krishi Pariwara is an example of such a positive change. What better way to change society than by recognizing that we can empower the guardians of sustenance to lead better and more satisfying lives, by helping themselves and the world through the practice of organic farming. Despite having no government assistance for more than a year and a half, the Pariwara continues to grow stronger by the day. Strong, organic farming practices lead to a strong India. A strong India leads to a stronger world. Isn’t that what we all want and deserve.
— Article by Aditya Patruni