This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Ramanand. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Farmer march: More Politics, No Economics

More from Ramanand

Living in a country where cattle is worshiped as God and about 55% of the population is dependent on agriculture as their main source of income, the returns remain low. While urbanisation can be cited as a reason, the fact that agriculture is no more a profitable sector remains the biggest explanation. Infrastructure costs are running high, with its maintenance cost and capital investment only adding on to the farmers’ distress. The average recovery rate of investments by an average Indian farmer is only 30%.

Another ground for low productivity is small holdings of land with farmers. In India, more than two-thirds of the crop lack proper irrigation facilities, even though India is the second largest irrigated country after China. Improper irrigation can also lead to other difficulties affecting yield like soil erosion, salinity, etc. Agriculture yield in India is much less than in other grain-producing nations like China, US and Brazil, though India is the second highest producer of paddy in the world. Farmers going for one crop that is priced high at that time draws overproduction, a price crash and huge losses to farmers. This is known as the sugar cycle of glut and shortage, but now it affects every other commodity.

India has been facing the issue of farmer strikes for quite some time now. Farmer strikes have become one of the most prolonged news in the economy. The demands which are put forward by the farmers are loan waiver, fair price (we cannot determine what a fair price can be in an open economy), a guarantee of crop purchase, pension, etc.

The word ‘Annadaata’ is often used in media and by people who advocate for the farmers whenever the march is organized. We also listen and read that farmers are true humanitarians because they provide us with bread. It has become routine that after every three months, we see these types of march/ strike demonstration either in Delhi or in Mumbai. Every time when these marches come to the city, people want to test the level our human rights, emotions and compassion.

The demand for loan waiving has neither yielded any result anywhere nor has it solved any problem in our country. The perception is that farmers take the loan for agriculture, is more of the truism.  Framers borrow heavily from bank/ private lenders for their personal expenses, marriage, etc. too. So, all loans are not directly related to agriculture.

The population that lives in the city are also in same or in worse conditions but we usually do not pay equal attention to them. They make the roads, buildings for us, where we reside. That is just as important for any living society. The labourers who load/ unload ration from the truck are also contributing enough to get our sympathy but we do not think of them. Because they do not fit well in our emotional world.

Why we should have an objection to the word ‘Annadaata’? Why do we have the term ‘Annadaata’ for those people who are engaged in the occupation of farming? Do we have a similar term for all kind of professionals, who provide us water, for those who make the road, who build the building, who clean our surrounding, who work in our offices?

I do not think that we pay the same gratitude to the other professionals as we do to our farmers. The problem with the problem of farmers is that we do not acknowledge farming as a profession. we are only trying to prove over the years that farming is the holiest profession which some people do in pursuit of charity, which is not true.

We have to learn to accept that farming is also an occupation which people choose for-profit motive or under compulsion when they do not have any other viable choice. You are not doing farming to feed anyone, you are doing farming to feed yourself and for some monetary benefit. A population which is living in a rural area does not become entitled to loan waiving because they are living in the village and engage in agriculture work. If we are thinking of providing some benefit to one type of occupation, we should also extend the same kind of benefit to other occupation.

We have another misconception that agriculture is providing job to population, but in reality, in 2018 the jobs are coming from the service sector and manufacturing sector. It is true that a larger community is having agriculture land but all the people of the community are not dependent on that land.  We have to define somewhere that who will come under the category of farmers and who are not the farmers. If farmers are expecting the same benefit what manufacturing or service sector are getting then they should also be prepared for tax on farming and promise of job etc as well as the vagaries of an open market economy where the government has only a role of regulator rather than that of a price controller. The comparison of industry and farming may sound emotional for someone but unfortunately, it shows how irrational we are.

The demand of MSP of the farmer can give sort of support to farming occupations. The current central government are also doing some significant work in this direction. But as we have adopted an open economy, we can not control the price of the commodity. If you give fix price for each crop, it is the people who will bear the cost of inflation. The concept of e-Nam and Bhawantar are a really good initiative but you should not expect to double the income through the MSP. It further led us in the sorry state of the economy.

The problem with us is that we do not want to accept the reality. The reality is that farmers of today’s time are not a wise professional. Indian farmers cultivate on small land which cannot give them any profit whatsoever as the industrialists get. A shop owner, industry owner also face loss in their respective filed but they face it by themselves. Another reality is that the farmers are the biggest political community. They have bigger vote bank than any caste/community put together and it is very easy to provoke them on these lines, but we should also understand that we can not give them the solution they seek as we do not have them either. The freebies that political parties are asking and governments are bending over to give will ultimately cost ordinary people most. If inflation shoots up, it is the common people including farmers will bear the heat.

The whole emotional discourse also shows us how bad our economic orientation is. The farming can be only beneficial if the farmer has enough knowledge about soil, crops and weather which most the farmers do not possess. Although now state and central governments both are working aggressively on this front. if farmers have the better mechanism of irrigation and have access to better irrigational infrastructure, then only we can expect some profit for the farmers. But we don’t want to work in that area, we believe in exhausting the emotions of the people.

The current efforts should be in same lights where political opponents of ruling party rallying behind for the formers not for their benefit but for only political benefit. The benefit which they are asking for the farmers is not the benefit. It is a slow poison which will not only harm the interest of the farmers but also destroy the Indian economy too.

 

You must be to comment.

More from Ramanand

Similar Posts

By prince Kumar (Anna Rai)

By Akshay Bajad

By Deepansh sharma

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below