We always wait for a moment where we want to prove our self and deliver our potential. Some time we create that moment and sometime others make a space for us to perform. This year women day celebration organized by our Organization, AKRSP (I) was one of such event where our team got a perfect platform to deliver the agriculture practices which are sustainable, pollution free, and safe for our mother land. This time our theme for women day celebration was “women in Agriculture” as it is now well accepted that in primary sector 58% male are involve in agriculture while 85% women are contributing in Indian agriculture. It indicates that we are already late to understand the women participation in agriculture and its result is that even after 64 year of independence we are neglecting the women right in land and natural resources.
Although I knew since last 4-5 years that once in year on 8th March we celebrates International Women day but never in past I have ever celebrated the day; this time I got an opportunity as we celebrated international women day with our women farmers. 700 participants attended that event and represented Bihar, MP, and Gujarat. Our agriculture team was involved in designing the agriculture stalls for sharing few best practices. We were very much concerned that all models must be live and farmers should get a sense that what we are demonstrating in model form, all are feasible and can be done by all either small farmers or land less women.
Out stalls had very much diversity because one side we had bamboo crafts and furniture; another side we have live model of netu-eco farming (popularly known as Ganga ma model of vegetable cultivation).
One corner we were convincing to women farmers that how community radio and mobile technology can help them to update their knowledge, another side we were trying to teach them that how producer company model can collect farmers for production and marketing of their products with a sense of ownership. We had end products of coarse millet like Papa, biscuits, prepared by women SHGs; and also we had live demonstration of SRI plot for proving that how small value addition in agronomic practices can bring revolution in same piece of land which was blame as barren land
One plot was dedicated to WADI model; WADI word may be new for many outsiders but this concept brought a revolutionary change in farming pattern especially in tribal region.
Since its inception we have seen number of changes in its model and here in our stall we demonstrated 3-tire model of WADI in which we promotes vegetables, creeper vegetables,and fruit plants in same piece of land at different height so farmers can get maximum benefit.All the stalls we supplemented with organic manures, bio pesticides, and compost. Different methods we have shared with farmers that how they can prepare all organic products by animal and plant wastage.Those women who do not have land or have barren land for them also we demonstrated bag gardening system. For that we need only fertilizer bags and by preparing five bags only a family easily can have production of enough vegetable for home consumption.
Our partner NGOs also had their stalls and most noted presence delivered by Sajjata Sangh and WLWLO (working group for and land ownership, Gujarat). Sajjata Sangh is a network of those NGOs which works for conservation of land resources; they shared their literature with farmers and development workers. WGWLO brought a new dimensions which I already discussed regarding women right in property, especially and resources. Surprisingly many women did not have any idea that they have legal right on property and they can claim their right on land resources. Thanks to them, that because of their presence I also realized that how big this issue is in present context.
Agri stall was one of the component of this whole event beyond that we have two days seasons where farmers from across the country shared their challenges against society, fight against family and system, and ultimate satisfaction what they felt once they get the success in standalone fight against all adverse circumstances.
We tried our best to make all the models lively, full of fun, and knowledge so who ever come to us, they must get a sense of learning and satisfaction that their journey from MP and Bihar was worth full.In those two days I must agree that all women were tired because of busy schedule and long journey from different part of country but in spite of that when we had evening informal season of Garba dance and cultural events it was marvelous and after words women shared that they forget all their tensions, pain, and tiredness
While I was returning to my place with women group in same vehicle; women shared that they enjoyed their last two days and in very few occasions of their life they celebrated like this. I think this statement was the ultimate success of our event.