AgricultureDecember 11, 2018

What farmers want

Hear what farmers, daily wage workers, and activists from Odisha and other states had to say at the recent Kisan Mukti March, about their recurring problems.
2019-02-03 00:00:00 India Development Review What farmers want
2 Min read Share

Purusottam Rana tried to cultivate cotton this year, but poor rainfall dried up his crop. He wants the government to provide stable irrigation and dig borewells in Dumerpara, his village in Muribahal tehsil of Odisha. The village is in Bolangir district (listed as Balangir in the census), which sees recurring drought.

“In my [joint] family’s partition, my family got one acre, but the land is still recorded in my grandfather’s name. I have six sons and none of them are engaged in farming. They go to places like Mumbai and Gujarat to work as daily wage construction labourers,” said 65-year-old Rana, who was in Delhi on November 29-30 to participate in the Kisan Mukti March.

Juga Rana, 57, from the same village, was also at the march. The paddy crop has dried up on his 1.5 acres due to the shortage of water, and Juga received only Rs. 6,000 as insurance. This is not at all adequate, he complained.

Kisan Mukti March

Photo Courtesy: Purusottam Thakur | People’s Archive of Rural India

At the march, I also met people from coastal Odisha. Manju Behera (at the centre, in the image above) of Singhaberahampur Purbabad village in Delanga block of Puri district said, “We don’t own any land, we earn our livelihood by working in the fields of farmers.” She earns Rs. 200 as daily wages whenever work is available in the village. Manju, around 45, had come to Delhi with a few others from her village, all of them landless labourers from Dalit communities.

“Some influential families in our village have been provided with 2-3 houses [under the Indira Awaas Yojana, now known as the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin] while some of us have not been allotted a single house yet!” said Shashi Das an activist from Odisha, among the many at the rally from this state.

Bishnu Sharma (wearing a black sweater, in the second photograph below), an advocate and human rights activist from Kantabanji, a small town in Bolangir district, said, “I am participating in this morcha to understand the problems and issues of the farmers of India and to know what this Swaminathan Commission report is all about. I am happy to know that farmers are well aware of these issues. I have to learn a lot about these issues. I have come from Bolangir, which witnesses drought and loss of crop. But when I came here, I realised that farmers are facing many other challenges too.”

Related article: Photo Essay | Gathering at the campfires of Niyamgiri

Sharma added that he is hopeful of solutions emerging from the Delhi march. “We had witnessed migrations from my area. Here, I understood after talking to farmers that all these problems are related to farming. If farming issues are not addressed, then migration and the other problems will continue.”

Kisan Mukti March

Photo Courtesy: Purusottam Thakur | People’s Archive of Rural India

Kisan Mukti March

Photo Courtesy: Purusottam Thakur | People’s Archive of Rural India

Kisan Mukti March

Photo Courtesy: Purusottam Thakur | People’s Archive of Rural India

Kisan Mukti March

Photo Courtesy: Purusottam Thakur | People’s Archive of Rural India

Kisan Mukti March

Photo Courtesy: Purusottam Thakur | People’s Archive of Rural India

Kisan Mukti March

Photo Courtesy: Purusottam Thakur | People’s Archive of Rural India

Kisan Mukti March

Photo Courtesy: Purusottam Thakur | People’s Archive of Rural India

Kisan Mukti March

Photo Courtesy: Purusottam Thakur | People’s Archive of Rural India

Kisan Mukti March

Photo Courtesy: Purusottam Thakur | People’s Archive of Rural India

This article was originally published on People’s Archive of Rural India on December 4th, 2018.

We want IDR to be as much yours as it is ours. Tell us what you want to read. writetous@idronline.org

Comments

We hope the conversations that take place on idronline.org will be energetic, constructive, and thought-provoking. To ensure the quality of the discussion, our moderating team will review all comments and may edit them for clarity, length, and relevance. Comments that are overly promotional, mean-spirited, or off-topic may be deleted per the moderators' judgment. All posts become the property of India Development Review.
Get smart.
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter, IDR Edit.
Follow us
Get smart. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter, IDR Edit.

IDR is India’s first independent media platform for the development community.

We publish cutting edge ideas, lessons and insights, written by and for the people working on some of India’s toughest problems. Our job is to make things simple and relevant, so you can do more of what you do, better.

IDR is produced in partnership with Ashoka University’s Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy.

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact
© 2019 India Development Review    
India Development Review is published by the Forum for Knowledge and Social Impact, a not-for-profit company registered under Section 8 of the Company Act, 2013.
CIN: U93090MH2017NPL296634