They had come upward to attend a wedding ceremony ceremony. After approving the newly weds, they were quietly ushered to their seats inward front. They sat glued to their chairs, non fifty-fifty ane time looking adroitly to the pandal where nutrient was set out. Instead, they listened attentively to speakers who talked on diverse aspects of the prevailing agrarian crisis together with the resulting rural distress.
Ever attended or heard of such a unique marriage? Well, welcome to Hosdurga hamlet inward Chitradurga district of Karnataka (in due south India). This hamlet is for sure a trend-setter, which should set to shame the neorich inward the cities who unabashedly set upward obscene display of wealth at the fourth dimension of marriages.
It was an exceptional, innovative together with a stimulating matrimony ceremony. For hundreds of villagers from Chitradurga together with adjoining districts inward Karnataka who trudged inward along amongst their wives to attend the wedding ceremony ceremony of Ravi Shankar together with Shakunthala inward Hosdurga hamlet inward the finally calendar week of Dec 2008, it wasn’t the sombre mood inward Bombay that made them avoid the festivities. It was their ain plight, the terrible agrarian crisis afflicting rural Karnataka, drawing them to deliberate on their ain future, together with the futurity of their children of marriageable age.
Some 2000 guests who had assembled were for sure taken inward yesteryear surprise when the hosts told them they had invited iv invitee speakers to dwell on but about of the burning issues the farming communities were grappling with. “I knew for certain they would hold out surprised. But I wanted to furnish them non exclusively but about gourmet delights but likewise nutrient for thought. And what ameliorate agency hence to brand them verbalise virtually their ain pain, their ain grief, together with their ain struggles,” says Siddaveerappa, a hamlet elderberry together with the encephalon behind the entire show. He is likewise the full general secretarial assistant of Karnataka Rajya Ryota Sangha (KRRS).
They didn’t disappoint. They sat patiently, men amongst their traditional light-green shawls tucked on their shoulders together with the women inward colourful saris, listening to each of the iv speakers. Such was the intensity of discussions that followed that dinner had to hold out delayed ane time to a greater extent than together with again, finally to hold out served at virtually ii am. No ane complained, non fifty-fifty the bride together with bridegroom. In fact, the immature duad sat through the entire discussions, showtime at virtually eleven inward the morn together with finally ending yesteryear iii the adjacent morning, exclusively to hold out interspersed amongst but about ane walking together with approving them.
They talked virtually the environmental devastation wrought yesteryear light-green revolution technologies, virtually how their soil produce got been plundered making them subject for all times upon chemic fertilisers together with pesticides, the resulting mining of the groundwater adding to their woes. They talked virtually the virtues of organic farming, deliberated on diverse aspects of the natural farming systems seeking answers to but about of the unremarkably asked questions equally to whether the crop yield would fall, together with would it upshot inward depression incomes. Chandrashekhar, an activist originally from Kolar but immediately based inward Bangalore, answered their queries on organic farming systems.
Krishnamurthy, a lecturer for a rural college inward Tipturu spoke virtually the alternatives together with the challenges facing the faming community, the spate of suicides inward the dryland regions of Karnataka, together with the failure of the State to rescue the farmers. Siddaveerappa afterward explained that his objective was to brand farmers realise that they were a victim of agribusiness. “A big disconnect has fix inward betwixt civilization together with agriculture. Farmers produce got forgotten that agriculture was a civilization together with non business. We are paying for treading on the incorrect path. No wonder farmers are dying.”
Ujjajji Rajanna, a paper journalist, likewise from Tipturu, spoke virtually the special economical zones (SEZ), dry reason beingness grabbed inward the elevate of development, the resulting displacement of the farmers, together with the social, economical together with political repercussion of the flawed policy approach. Dr T northward Prakash, a professor of economic science from the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) inward Bangalore, addressed them on issues relating to the importance of biodiversity inward the context of dryland agriculture, together with the purpose of millets inward assuring nutritional security.
“Chitradurga district,” says Dr Prakash, “was ane time rich inward millets. Sorghum, ragi, kodu millet together with but about pocket-size millets used to hold out cultivated inward this region. Not exclusively millets, farmers produce got fifty-fifty stopped cultivating vegetables.” Growing vegetables is ane of the best ways to encourage sustainable farming systems. During the discussions that followed, women showed a lot of involvement inward reverting dorsum to vegetable cultivation. The district horticulture together with agriculture officers were likewise present.
So much involvement was generated on the nutritional aspect of farming that a resolution was eventually passed wherein it was agreed that every family inward the district would produce got a kitchen garden. It was likewise agreed that each farm would grow at to the lowest degree ane millet crop. “Ever heard of a matrimony resolution,” asks Dr Prakash, adding “this was something I could produce got never anticipated fifty-fifty inward the wildest of my dreams.”
“If nosotros grow vegetables together with millets, nosotros tin for sure ensure self-sufficiency inward principal wellness care,” says a beaming Siddaveerappa. No wonder, it was decided that KRRS, women organisations together with but about local NGOs would travel collectively to ensure that each farming family kitchen should produce got a kitchen garden inside a year. It was likewise resolved that inward futurity marriages, at to the lowest degree one-half of the dishes served should hold out traditional. Therein lies an of import lesson for the farming population non exclusively inward Karnataka but inward the entire country. If exclusively they stopped aping the urban elite together with instead focus on their ain survival, they would notice the correct answers. #