In Bihar’s Gaya district, women farmers engaged in organic agriculture have found an innovative way to spread awareness about the practice. They pick a particular village for the day, find a spot under a tree big enough to provide them shade from the sun, and start singing songs about the benefits of the system of root intensification (SRI, or sri vidhi as it is locally called).
The songs are laced with messages about the water- and labour-saving qualities of SRI and are set to tunes popular in the area. This makes them accessible to the women farmers working in the farms nearby. The women from the village join in on the singing and, by the time the songs are over, they are well aware of the ill-effects of chemicals on crops and people’s health.
Kavita Devi, a resident of Sonbarsa village and member of the Sri Vidhi women’s collective (a group of women farmers in Bihar), says, “It has been six or seven years since I started singing these songs. Initially I underwent training for singing songs and writing lyrics; now I train other people.”
Know more: Learn why women in Gaya district of Bihar choose organic farming.
Do more: Connect with Sri Vidhi Collective at [email protected] to learn more about and support their work.