“KISAN SWARAJ YATRA DEMANDS IMMEDIATE SCRAPPING OF PROJECT SUNSHINE – DIVERT THE FUND FOR ECOLOGICAL, SUSTAINABLE FARMING”
Ahmedabad/Dahod, October 5, 2010: Mounting an attack on the state government of Gujarat, Kisan Swaraj Yatra, joined by hundreds of tribal women farmers today, demanded that the Chief Minister Narendra Modi should step in and scrap the tribal welfare department’s joint project with Monsanto in the tribal districts of the state called “Project Sunshine”. The visits of the four teams of the Kisan Swaraj Yatra to villages in Panchmahal and Dahod districts and the interaction with the tribal farmers clearly shows that this project is only leading farmers down an unsustainable path and providing ready markets for an MNC like Monsanto, known for its anti-farmer activities. Meanwhile, hundreds of women and men tribal farmers who assembled at Bara village in Devgarh Baria tehsil of Dahod, felt that it is important to be cautious about such projects. “They are just tempting people by combining it with subsidized fertilizers and seeds in the first year and ultimately leading us towards disaster”, said Madhuben Nayak of Adivasi Mahila Organic farmers cooperative in the Adivasi Mahila Khedut Swaraj Sammelan. More...
October 4th 2010 – From the Sabarkantha – Panchmahal route
“PROJECT SUNSHINE SOWING SEEDS OF DISASTER IN TRIBAL GUJARAT” “FARMERS REJECT MONSANTO’S HYBRID MAIZE” “The yellow maize is ending up contaminating our own maize, say tribal farmers” It was around 7.15 pm and the sky was brilliant with millions of stars shining brightly on us. Men and women sat together in this meeting in the village - Vangad. “We know better than to sow that hybrid maize given in the project. We take what the NGOs give us – throw away the seed, sow our own ‘safed makka’ and keep the chemical fertilizer. Even with the fertilizer, we don’t use all of it and sell away what we don’t need”, explained a young farmer, making us all burst into amazed laughter. We were told that this village is quickly going back to their own maize after trying out hybrid maize supplied by Monsanto. More...
Oct 6: Yatra is in Madhya Pradesh
11 AM: Public meeting with farmers at Meghnagar, Jhabua dist. 7 PM: Public meeting with farmers at Petlawad, Jhabua dist.
October 3rd 2010 – From the Mehsana-Sabarkantha route in Gujarat
“Madasana Cumpa villagers vow to keep GM foods away” “Bt Cotton crop has dried up this year” After a very somber meeting in Gujarat Vidya Peeth where speakers like Anupam Mishra (Gandhi Marg/Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi) and Dr Sudarshan Iyengar (Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Vidya Peeth, a higher education institution founded by Gandhi ji) brought out many issues of injustice and inequity in rural India today, pertaining to “Swaraj”, the Kisan Swaraj Yatra began following a complex plan of events over the next days with all Yatris divided up into four teams. More...
Oct 4th: Yatra visiting adivasi region of Gujarat
Today, three Yatra teams traverse Panchmahal district and one team travels in Dahod district. Yatra is visiting 12 adivasi villages, holding farmer... Read More
After Flag-off: Yatra visits 22 villages in 24 hours!
After flagging off at Sabarmati Ashram, the Yatra fanned out in 4 teams setting off in different directions. Under the meticulous planning... Read More
KISAN SWARAJ YATRA from Sabarmati to Rajghat sets off
New Delhi/Ahmedabad: Oct 2nd, 2010: On a day when India and the world marked the 141st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, hundreds of citizens came together in Ahmedabad to flag off a nation-wide Kisan Swaraj Yatra, for a 71-day trip across 20 states of India, to provide a message of hope to Indian farmers and to promote self-reliant ecological farming. The Yatra, organized by scores of organizations and individuals across the country under the auspices of “Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture”, was flagged off by veteran renowned natural farmer Shri Bhaskar bhai Save, acclaimed as the “Living Gandhi of Natural Farming”. The “Kisan Swaraj Yatra” seeks to remind all Indians of our hard-won independence and the insidious ways in which agri-business corporations and others are taking this independence and sovereignty away, especially with regard to our food and farming. This Yatra is a call for joining forces to save Indian farming and farmers mired in deep distress and to forge a sustainable path forward for Indian farming. More...
The Yatra Today – Oct 2nd
Launch of the nation-wide Yatra 10.30 AM at Gujarat Vidyapeeth: Public Meeting of farmers and eminent citizens 12:30 PM: Rally from Gujarat... Read More
Oct 1st – Gearing up for the launch
The Swaraj Yatra bus reached Ahmedabad from Delhi on Sept.30th. On board were farmers and activists from Bihar, Delhi and Bangalore. Appropriately, our first stay together as Yatris is at the venerable Gujarat Vidyapeeth founded by Mahatma Gandhi. On Oct 1st, the Vidyapeeth was teeming with Yatris reaching from various parts of the country. Farmers from Punjab, Bihar, M.P., Maharashtra, Orissa, Chattisgarh, A.P. and Karnataka are around, along with activists from around India. Even as we walked by the Nayi Taleem school, we found ourselves discussing in various languages about how to take the message of ecologically sustainable agriculture across the country.
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