Friday, 2 May 2014

Who will feed the farmer?

Last week Dhurv’s was in a dilemma and shared it with his professor. After giving it a considerable thought this is what his professor did:

“Dhurv, can you give me the contact details of the University that has offered you a scholarship?” asked his guide.

Dhurv gave him the number and his professor talked to the dean of the college and explained Dhurv’s situation. He further asked if the University would accept Dhurv as an overseas candidate. The learned, but practical professor also assured his counterpart that he would guide Dhurv and help him complete the course to the complete satisfaction of the professors concerned.

They agreed, but were not in a position to sponsor him completely. Dhurv agreed to the change in scholarship amount.

He stayed on with his mother. In his free time he helped his mother with her business. At the end of four years he not only had completed the course that he was chosen for, but he also had established a profitable business of supplying lunch to many of the corporate employees in his area.

On graduating he decided promote his mother’s modest business. Under his mother’s supervision, more cooks were employed and Dhurv began a lunch supply unit which, very soon grew into a successful chain!

This week…

Who will feed the farmer?

The village was distraught. The unseasonal hail storm had robbed the farmers of their year’s hard work. Under the leadership of the village headman, the farmers decided to take the matter up with the concerned authorities.They tried to get an appointment with the agriculture minister. But they had to go through a bureaucratic procedure. Their cause was getting diluted as they waited endlessly outside government offices.

Time was running out. One of the farmers decided to take matters into his hands. As the others tried their luck with every single officer, he went back to his village.

He made banners that read “Who will feed the farmer?” He met villagers from his neighbouring village and together, they all decided to take their plea directly to the end users. They took out a protest march through every single street demanding people to get involved in the process of food production.
One saying in Tamil, when translated reads thus:

“Only if a farmer's leg touches the soil, can the rest of our hands can touch food!”

The farmers set out with a few demands. Their demands were limited and divided into two categories- the short term solutions and the long term solution.

Short term solutions:

1. A good infrastructure to protect crops from natural calamities.
2. Supplying good quality seeds and natural manure for improving production.

Long term Solution:

1. Setting up an Agricultural University in every village, town and city.
2. Introducing one compulsory subject on agriculture in the school curriculum.
3. Having a stream dedicated to agriculture in classes 11 and 12.

The demand of the farmers sounded inappropriate and the authorities were displeased with the farmers. They wanted the farmers to stick to their demands and not venture beyond their problems. They were warned not to get into unnecessary ‘troubles’. 

As a common man what will be your advice to the farmers?