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article imageDay 28 of farmers marching across India to save agriculture

By Srijit Mishra     Oct 29, 2010 in Food
Coimbatore - The Kisan Swaraj Yatra, known as the Farmers Freedom tour, is mobilizing farmers and public opinion across states of India. It is a call to save Indian agriculture.
A number of farmers and farmer organization have come together under the banner of Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA, which literally means hope in many Indian languages) and are touring across the country. The Kisan Swaraj Yatra started on 2 October 2010, Mahatma Gandhi's 141st birthday, from Sabarmati, the same place from where Mahatma Gandhi had started his famous salt sayagraha or Dandi march on 12 March 1930. It will end on 11 December 2010 at Rajghat, New Delhi after having traveled across 20 states.
Today, on 29th October 2010, the yatra has traversed Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu and now reached Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, a collaborating institute with Monsanto. Farmers' protested by donating money, which the authorities did not accept. The yatris message for the scientists is to take up research that benefit farmers and not the agribusiness corporations.
Farmers in their march as part of Kisan Swaraj Yatra protest against the Tamil Nadu Agriculture Univ...
Farmers in their march as part of Kisan Swaraj Yatra protest against the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University's collaboration with Monsanto.
Kisam Swaraj Yatra
The overwhelming message from farmers and non-farmers, rural and urban areas, is that such a large mobilization to save Indian agriculture is the crying need today. The Yatra is raising issues like support systems for farmers, remunerative prices, control over seeds, land and other resources, forced displacement and the vicious cycle of high-cost chemical agriculture. The yatra has had Ministers in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka endorsing the demands, farmers taking out bullock-cart rallies, promising resolutely to be annadatas (providers of food) in the face of adversity and land-grabbing, adivasi (tribal) children laying out their vision of sustainable development, film personalities coming out in support, shopkeepers and transport officials donating money to keep the yatra going.
To support their call, you may have a look at their petition to the Indian government. The Kisan Swaraj Yatra is an initiative to strike out a new path in agriculture, which provides a dignified livelihood to all our farmers and farmworkers, and keeps our soil alive and our food and water healthy.
It questions the ethos that "there is no alternative" and throws upon a world of possibilities where "many alternatives exist" (MAE).
More about Kisan swaraj yatra, Farmer, India, Agriculture
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