Wednesday, March 31, 2010

TOO TIED UP WITH REGISTRATION OF THE ORGANISATION, NOW THE TESTING TIMES BEGINS… (31st Mar 2010, 2235 Hrs)

I have being running up and down since the last couple of days, managing to get all the required papers in place for the registration of the organization, which is a must for further action. It’s taxing but essential so I can open the bank account for ‘support 4 suicide farmers families’ to facilitate one and all to contribute to support the movement from all over the world.

One man, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart is Municipal Inspector Mr. Javed Khan in ‘E’ Ward for being so kind to guide me to the right direction by lending his strong support for the movement. He is such a kind man to guide me with all the required help that I have no words that can or would describe his kindness. Finally, on 30th March 2010… my application was approved by him and deposited with the required fee. I was very relieved yesterday, happy, elated and totally in bliss for everything falling in the right place in perfect timing! Thank you Mr. Javed Khan… this movement will always be grateful to you for your kindness and support!

Yesterday, I also booked my ticket to proceed to Vidarbha to interact with all the affected families and make a proper assessment of why the suicide is not stopping in the region. I know that it will be THE most difficult journey facing each family who have lost their bread winner… honestly, I don’t know how I would face to console all of them, make them understand about my movement and show them the little trickle of light on the other side of their dark tunnel…towards a better future! Will I be welcomed in their villages, homes and hearts? Surely, it is going to be THE testing time but I know that by Sai Baba’s blessings and my guru English teacher Mr. KK Roy Choudhury’s blessings… I will slowly make in roads in their loving broken hearts to help and tell them there are billion plus Indians and, billions and billions of compassionate people all around the world, who are contributing to see them stand on their feet once again to continue farming for humanity sake.


Monday, March 29, 2010

REASONS FOR KONKAN REGION FARMERS TO QUIT FARMING (29th Mar 2010, 1000 Hrs)

In my last week visit to villages in Alibaug (Konkan region), farmers told me why they have no other option but to leave farming as nothing is being done on the irrigation infrastructure front by the government since the last six and a half decades and the initial investment has grown in leaps and bounds. Here are the main reasons why farmers are quitting farming and becoming extinct in the Konkan region:

1).   Investment is higher than the produce:
2).   Labour cost has shot up by 150 %.
3).   Scarcity of Labour force.
4).   Higher demands by labour to do a day’s job.
5).   No irrigation infrastructure.
6).   Depends completely on Rain God’s mercy for a better monsoon.
7).   Salty ground water cannot be used for crops.
8).   No extra income to survive the whole year.
9).   Shifting towards Metro Cities for livelihood & survival.
10). Cost of electricity, fertilizers have doubled up.
11). Inflow of black money by the rich and famous, who are buying farms at 1 crore per acre. Farmers who have more land are selling few acres to change their style of living because of more money.
12). Inflow of money has changed the work culture and farmers’ attitude, who are not ready to slog for almost nothing as they have the money power to buy food for their families.
13). Eight long months farmlands lie barren because of non-availablity of irrigation system or failure of the same (in Phopheri & Saral, drinking water supply is only for an hour).
14). Ratio of healthy farmers (like the earlier generation) is almost neglible in today’s time.
15). No right price for farmers’ produce by the government agencies.
16). Two long months time period to receive payments from government agencies force the farmers to sell their produce to the middlemen, who pay them lower price on cash payment.
16). Middlemen mafia has become stronger to force the farmers to sell their produce.
17). Lack of knowledge makes poor farmers to still continue with age-old farming technics.
18). In two or three generation periods, farmers’ sons prefer to slog in the urban set up with lower or higher education to have a good annual income rather than live in pittance by continuing farming. So migration to cities has become their best bet to live a decent life. In Maharastra according to 2001 Government Survey, 42 % population have turned urban, that means Angriculture Sector has lost almost 12 %... the 2011 survey will see the percentage crossing the 50 % barrier according to various experts.

All these factors contribute to force the farmers of Phopheri and Saral villages to shift their base in urban set up. Farmers are not lured by the government to continue farming and in near future, the farmers’ community in all likelihood will become extinct… so then who will produce food for the nation? Think seriously about such a situation in near future!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

WHY AM I WASTING MY LIFE? THE QUESTION MANY ASKED ME TODAY… (28th Mar 2010, 2330 Hrs)

That’s right! What happens when 4 out of the 10 people I approach for one-rupee-donation ask me the question – “Why are you wasting your life? Nothing can change the fate of the suicide farmers and even with your little effort there will be many more farmers’ suicides.” Honestly I wished for a second, if I had approached all these people with an offer to double their 10 lakhs into 20 lakhs in 15 days… they would welcome me with open arms, serve me a nice glass of chilled water and even coffee and whatever I wanted…

Are you surprised as to what made me to think such an atrocious thing today? The reason being, the world will readily believe a ‘con’ but will always mistrust a genuine man with a genuine cause to do the little bit for the nation… funny isn’t it? The world will always support to be cheated but will always hesitate to unite under one roof for a good cause. Only when calamity strikes (to teach us lessons of life), do we realize how important life is and without any inhibitions help each other without really caring for caste, creed, religion or social status.

Today, when I started my day at 5 pm while I was traveling in train, few readily gave their valuable contribution but one old highly educated gentleman questioned my intention and without even knowing anything about me, declared that these money would never reach the needy and that did I have the required permission to collect donation and contribution from fellow Indians. He was questioning with authority and showing other fellow passengers. However, when I told him politely that it takes months to get the required papers from the government office and that I have dedicated my life for the cause, he rubbished my answers.

His mistrust about my movement didn’t stop other fellow passengers to give away their valuable contribution much to this gentleman’s dislike. It was funny, strange, disheartening and very discouraging indeed but when others who are not well-off in life come forward with their 10 rupee note, you realize to thank such beautiful Indians from the bottom of your heart. Deep down, such people do inspire me to be much stronger to inch towards my mission. Yes, I am all set now to proceed to Vidarbha villages to meet all the families who have lost their bread winner to understand what the real problem and reasons are there behind the continuous suicide of farmers. Also, I wish to tell them about my mission and how I am doing my bit with the invaluable support of all Indians to support them in near coming months.

There was another shopkeeper in Thane (market near station), who thought I was a foreigner even when I requested him in Hindi – ‘Bhartiya Kisaan ke peedit parivaron ke liye ek rupaiya sir (One rupee for Indian suicide farmers’families)’ He started conversing in English even when his friend & partner said that I speak Hindi. He also thought that I was a Christian and presumed that I eat beef… so he was telling me endlessly about all the gau hatya (cows slaughtering) in Gujarat and all the farmers are alcoholic and that is why they die or commit suicide without any remorse or human emotions. This thing went on and on for 30 long minutes and every time I tried to give reasons about the real picture of rural India… he was not ready to agree while his friends in the shops showed some concern as humans… when I finally tried to end the on going debate about my mission… he told me – “All your effort will go in waste as nothing can save these farmers. Why are you wasting your life? They will die because they drink and are lazy to work.” I was speechless and requested him to leave me so I could move forward to another shop… he finally took out a one rupee coin and dropped in the box… I thanked him for his invaluable contribution and wondered while he cares for my life, he is not at all bothered about our poor farmers who grow food for his family and the nation… he showed no feelings at all for 200,000 farmers who committed suicide and finally his friend told him to let me go…

These two incidents shook me in a very negative manner today as I just couldn’t concentrate to continue my walk… I felt completely drained out and my emotions were shattered to see how callous some of us can be…so I returned home after mere one hour session of raising funds… yes, I know I will be meeting more often few of these kind too, but then I vowed that I will have to be stronger than ever before and from Tuesday, I will have to forget the hot sun and high temperature of the summer to keep my march on and on… the journey to achieve my mission is very long but I know all the Indians and humans will make us to achieve the unexpected.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention the little darling (an 8-year-young girl), whose mom was kind enough to just read the caption and gave her a rupee to donate from her side while I was in a shop. She came up to me with the brightest smile and dropped the coin in the box and I just couldn’t help myself saying – “Thank you so much sweetie, God bless you!” Another good thing is that the day ended in a good manner when a young student named Jai read the caption on the T-shirt and approached me and asked about the initiative. He then told that after his studies, even he plans to do a lot for our poor farmers, much to my delight. He assured that he would follow the blog… at last the end always turns out to be better than the beginning. The funds raised was little but significant in many ways.

9 MORE VIDARBHA FARMERS COMMITTED SUICIDE IN LAST 24 HOURS (28th Mar 2010, 1230 Hrs)

On the 26th of March, it was reported that 10 Vidarbha farmers had committed suicide in the last 48 hours and this day once again there is news about 9 Vidarbha farmers have ended their lives of misery in the last 24 hours… In spite of Maharastra losing farmers to suicide at the fastest pace in the nation, the State Budget has reduced the amount to be spent in 2010-11 for the Agriculture / Rural Development & Irrigation from Rs. 4,785.12 crores to Rs. 3,391.61 crores from the 2009-10 periods.


                              (check out Agriculture / Rural Development & Irrigation)

It shows that the State is worried only about the cities development which accumulates to almost Rs. 53,570.63 crores and Rs. 53,681.74 crores in 2009-10 & 2010-11 periods respectively… if one calculates the percentage, one and all will be shocked to know that the funds allotted for Agriculture Sector (58 per cent of Maharastra depends on it) is just a little over 8 % and near about 6 % for the respective years – 2009-10 and 2010-11… Isn’t it shocking that where the State should put more money, they are spending a pittance as if the cities can feed self without the farmers.

I wish to ask one and all, will mushrooming of more Malls feed or produce crops for the whole nation? Will the booming Multiplexes Culture do the same for the nation? Will more brands of car in any which way grow crops for the whole nation? Will the subsidies to private airliners in any way feed the city folks by growing crops in air? Will the success of IPL 3 in any way reflect that cricket grounds are growing more crops for the city folks? All these are vulgar display of wealth in the nation, which is losing its farmers at an alarming rate and yet, nothing is being done to save them to a better future.

All the food that our farmers grow for the whole nation are soaked in their blood my dear friends as they are giving away their lives because nothing is being done for them. I really wonder when the nation will lose all the farmers, who will do farming to grow food for the whole nation… think hard about this soon to be real situation… next time when you eat those delicious cuisine in the restaurant, think about the farmers who are committing suicide while you are eating a decent costly meal… and yes, not forgetting how their families will have to cope about the sudden demise of the men who earn their bread and butter (roti, namak, kandha aur mirchi – bread / salt / onion & green chillies) for their respective families…

Saturday, March 27, 2010

WE CAN CELEBRATE ‘EARTH HOUR’ BUT THERE IS NO ‘FARMERS’ DAY’, WHY? (27th Mar 2010, 1110 Hrs)

Today from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm (IST), the world will celebrate ‘Earth Hour’ like it did last year. Funny, isn’t it? I really have no clue as to how it will help check Global Warming in spite of various debates I have had with friends and intellectuals? The Suburbs connected to Mumbai after Thane have lived for years now with six-hour (earlier it used to be 8 hours and in West Bengal the power cut last even in city like Kolkata for more than 12 hours a day and in villages it can stretch anything between 16 to 18 hours) daily cut of electricity supply… that means, Global Warming concern is only for the city dwellers and if they switch off their lights for one long hour, the world would be saved from Global Warming… the biggest crap one can ever conceive in our 21st Century!

Imagine if the suburbs connected to a city like Mumbai faces 6 hour power cut daily, what must be the situation in the interior villages of our nation… so that means all the poor and downtrodden population of India (without electricity supply) are contribituing much bigger pie to save the world from Global Warming, yet, no one really cares for these people. In cities, every day is earmarked for either Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, Lovers’ Day, Earth Hour or Women’s Day and what not (all a publicity and commercial gimmicks) but in the land where 70% of the population depends on Agriculture, we don’t even give the most important person in the world – The Farmers – a day in their name.

The reason I am asking this question to all of you… don’t we even care to thank the person / community that feed us for life even for one single day? Why? Are we so thankless for the food that is so alluring and delicious on our dining table that we forget the person who has worked hard in hot sun and heavy rains to provide the food for us, even when his own family goes hungry? My heart bleeds for the farmers’ of the nation. Please let us join hands to force or demand from the world to at least celebrate ONE single day as FARMERS’ DAY in coming future! Let us dedicate ONE single day out of the 365 days to thank the farmers, who feed the nation selflessly… please write ‘Letters to the Editor’ to all the daily esteem dailies of the nation wherever you are, SMS to all News Channels and demand why we cannot dedicate ONE single day for the Farmers… it is a sincere request to one and all… and please don’t feel you are alone in doing so… I started alone but now I have so many people’s strong support… just show a little empathy to thank the brave poor farmers of our nation… who is committing suicide because of us…

Let us all make the “FARMERS’ DAY” the most happening day of the year to thank all our farmers with deep gratitude from the bottom of our hearts! I have full faith in all of you and I know if we start now, by 2011 we all will have the FARMERS’ DAY!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A REVELATION ABOUT VIDARBHA… YES, YOU ALL WILL BE SHOCKED TOO! (26th Mar 2010, 2045 Hrs)



10 more farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha in the last two days and a tiny column space was given to such a serious issue in 46-Page Broadsheet esteem National Daily… even when the government claims that 70% of Indians depend on Agriculture Sector… what a shame and what a pity? The tiny space only revealed that 10 farmers in Vidarbha region committed suicide… taking the toll to 185 farmers’ suicide in the current year, which is not even three months old…




I often wonder as to why these suicides are not stopping in spite of all the government claims of doing a lot for the poor farmers? When riots break in any city, almost immediately the government springs into action to check law and order in the city, so why the criminal act of farmers’ suicides (according to Indian law, suicide is a criminal act or offence) are allowed to spread its tentacles ceaselessly since the last few decades… why are we allowing our farmers to die to leave their families in miserable sufferings? Why we all are not able to check this particular criminal act, when we can check terrorist attacks, underworld dons’ mafia, kidnapping or else thefts…

As a journalist I have seen how media houses work and function… news that are worthy often end up in waste bins much to the dislike of the reporter or correspondent in spite of being commissioned by their respective editors. I always knew that there is definitely something wrong and today a source from the affected region revealed the truth point blank… he said, “Every one is interested to fill their coffers and government bodies are doing just nothing to save these farmers, who have lost all the hopes to live a life, they dread so much.” I was not shocked as you all would be reading this… because I know the truth as I have seen containers of earthquake foreign aid were directly off-loaded in chor bazaar and it was auctioned to the highest bidder.

The fact surely has disturbed me a lot and I wonder how soon I am able to raise the required money to save at least a few farmers’ families before they commit suicide. I really have to raise the money fast to help these farmers before it is too late. I do hope people will come forward to contribute more so that we all can stop this dreaded disease to become deadly. What may seem today as just a small crisis will take shape of the ‘deadliest disease’ in the near future in front of our eyes within the next few decades… and then our children will say in unison – “Our forefathers and parents never really bothered to think about the major problem of food management!”

ESSENTIAL PAPER WORK (26th Mar 2010, 0800 Hrs)


While I have been trying to recuperate from my second day on the streets, the essential requirements of all the paper work for Municipal registration is making me to run from here to there… Yesterday tried organizing all the required papers with Sameer Gambhir’s help and today with Madan Patil’s company, went to the Municipal office and got the registration form…

I do hope today all the formalities will be over so I can concentrate on walking the streets once again to raise more money for the cause. Tomorrow from 4 pm to 8 pm will walk from CST (VT) towards Colaba. I have started walking each area alphabetically and covered the right side of the said area.

The daily update is as essential as the required paper work that Municipal Office requires and everything is falling in the right place with God’s grace and strong support from one and all… I wonder at times, what I would have done without you all beautiful people… almost daily someone new joins the movement from different parts of the world and it shows how much each one of us care for such a serious issue that has plagued the nation… I wish we wake up really soon before it is too late…

So do I get to meet some of you tomorrow in VT and Colaba areas??? Till then take care always…

Thursday, March 25, 2010

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE (25th Mar 2010, 1830 Hrs)


The old saying is so apt, however, in our beautiful nation… we all tend to cure when everything become hopeless. There are two cases here that I am going to discuss – one is about my movement and the second is about our nation’s planning commission.

When I started the movement on 18th of March, I had decided that for four days I will be walking on the streets collecting donation and contribution from every Indian that I meet. Little did I realize that the summer heat, four long hours of non-stop walking, hopping shop-to-shop holding the donation box and recuperating the lost energy… well, there are too many factors involved for a single man to do to achieve the unexpected. The first day taught me that my energy level had to be recharged after a long day in the hot sun… When I spoke to my friends, they all said in unison…Johnny you will have to look after your health first and don’t try to push too hard in the initial stages.

Point well taken and within couple of days I was recharged once again. So on 23rd March, the second day on the streets began…however, the long day really seeped out all the energy that was left in me. The moment I came home, in chilled water I had to dip my feet to find solace… the night went like the Iodex ad… oh, aah, ouch… as every bit of my body was complaining of pain…even though I was dead tired… the spirit was soaring higher than ever and it is here I decided I will have to be cautious not to get sick and be on the bed for couple of weeks… henceforth, I will be on the streets one day and after two days, that means, three days in a week with two days for recuperating / recharging  hahahahahaa…. I know you all must be laughing but than “Prevention is better than cure.”

The second point is about how our planning commission has been working ever since the Independence. For them, cure only when everything becomes hopeless… Like our Agriculture Sector… for more than six and a half decades, we have not even bothered to provide the basic infrastructure for the No.1 sector (70 to 80 % depended on Agriculture in 1947) with the most essential Irrigation Facilities… what more can you ask or expect in this modern century? It is indeed a pity that farmers, who feed the nation toiling hard in hot sun and heavy rains, have always been neglected and even now… no one, I repeat, NO ONE is really bothered about them… So what if 200,000 farmers have committed suicide in 12 years (1997 to 2009)? So what if farmers are quitting farming? So what if farmers are selling their lands to the rich & famous for their lavish farmhouses? So what if farmers migrate to cities to become urbanites? So what if farmers are selling wives to feed their children? So what if there are no irrigation facilities for the farmers?

The cure will only start when in the next two or three decades, our children will grow and start killing each other to feed their children… today, it is the Bundelkhand farmers, who are selling wives to feed their children… my dear, tomorrow it will be our children, who will not hesitate to kill the other person to feed his children or maybe, like animals we will even kill our children to feed self… Dangerous and so deadly to think of such a ghastly future that our children are going to face… all because of improper planning… I wonder how these educated people have the nerve to overlook such a serious matter even today! I really don’t know how many farmers’ families I will be able to save with all the help to make them self-reliant but I know for sure one thing… Prevention is better than cure!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

THE BEAUTIFUL LESSON I LEARNED ABOUT DRINKING WATER ON DAY 2 (24th Mar 2010, 0935 Hrs)


It was nearing four hours and as I entered the shop ALIS SHOES, my voice was a bit shaky because of requesting and thanking endlessly each individual. The owner not only contributed generously but also kindly asked me, “Would you like a glass of water?” I just couldn’t believe it and thanked him as my legs were trembling and voice was choking in my mouth. I said, “Sir that is so kind of you… you are the first person who has asked me for water in the whole of Linking Raod. I am really touched.” He requested me to sit but I was still standing holding my tears with all my strength in my eyes for his wonderful kind gesture. He asked one of his boys to give me a bottle of water and requested again, “Please sit and drink water.”

I sat and felt I was really tired physically and emotionally because of meeting such a wonderful human being. Then he said, “Never stand while you are drinking water because it is considered as insulting ‘Water’.” I looked at him in amazement taking a sip of water slowly. “You know man cannot make ‘Water’, can we?” I nodded to agree with what he was saying. He continued, “It is God who creates ‘Water’ and we should not disrespect God by drinking water standing. We must always sit when we are drinking water and that is to show respect to the creator of the Universe.”

I really thanked him from the bottom of my heart for enlightening me with such a wonderful lesson of life. We discussed for a while about various issues connected with suicide farmers’ families… I couldn’t help asking him his name and visiting card and requested him to follow my blog, so he can keep abreast with all the happenings of the movement. He asked me to write the URL, phone number and my name as he promised he would follow my blog for sure. As I was leaving thanking him with all my heart and leaving the half filled water bottle, he said, “Please take it with you and should I fill the bottle full for you. You need it.”

Meeting Mr. Mahmood G Furniturewala was an enlightening experience and it is people like him which makes this world such a beautiful place to live in. As I walked out of the shop, I was wondering how God balance the ill happenings with the good ones in such a short span of life. At 4 pm, I encountered the Ticket Checker and the educated gentleman, who objected in a wild tone and contributed their ‘anger & anguish’ for the cause and by 8 pm, here I was welcomed and treated with so much kindness…well, people like Mr. Mahmood G Furniturewala is what makes me strong to keep going to serve the suicide farmers’ families…

Thank you Mr. Mahmood G Furniturewala for enlightening my life with your knowledge and kindness…

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

DAY 2 ON THE STREETS OF BANDRA LINKING ROAD (23rd Mar 2010, 2245 Hrs)


DAY 2 ON THE STREETS OF BANDRA LINKING ROAD (23rd Mar 2010, 2245 Hrs)

The summer heat is killing and on 22nd March, it was terrible…I started my day at 4 pm and much to my surprise on the Western Line (from Dadar to Bandra), I was stopped by a Ticket Checker, who objected (in anger) me requesting the passengers for their valuable donation… it was surely a bad start I must confess because people had a mixed reaction. A couple of them donated and one fine gentleman contributed Rs.100/- much to the surprise of his fellow passengers, while there was a bunch of people, who were more interested to see the box collection… one man even exclaimed to his friends – ‘Arre look, there is a cheque of Rs.1000/- too!’ Yes, you all guessed it right! He didn’t even contribute one single rupee from his side.

I had to get down at Bandra, not before one educated gentleman vociferously told me – ‘The government has waived farmers’ loan, so why are you collecting money for them?’ I explained him how our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress scion Rahul Gandhi had confessed to the nation on various news channels that 85 paise of every single rupee never reaches to the poor farmers. Soon he became busy on his mobile and many just watched in total silence. A bad beginning ended in a wonderful response from Linking Road’s shopkeepers, who contributed generously with 10 & 20 rupees note.

An aged Sardarji came from behind to tap my shoulder on the street and contributed Rs.5/- with his blessings…an old gentleman followed me from behind to ask about the cause and donated Rs.20/- with his blessings…a beautiful lady was surprised when I requested her for one rupee donation and said, “I can donate more also na?” When I nodded, she opened her purse to contribute Rs.50/-… such kind people who realise the seriousness of the issue touched my heart to give me strength and boundless energy to keep going. Yes, there was one elite lady in one of the shops, when she heard about one rupee donation, she seemed to be very excited and donated sheepishly her one valuable rupee. The reason I am sharing my experience with you all is to make everyone realise how beautiful our nation Bharat is… Every single rupee counts and one panwala applauded for the one rupee donation and heartily gave his contribution.

The day belonged to Raymond showroom at the extreme end of Linking Road (towards the Khar end)… the sales executives were overwhelmed and contributed generously Rs.10/ each and made every member (six) to do so… surely they touched my heart with gratitude. The small Puma showroom showed what team spirits is all about… every young sales guy & girls contributed their share along with the boss with their cute broad smile… one shopowner surprised me saying, “I will not give you one rupee.” Paused a little and then took out Rs.10/- to put in the box… Yes, there were couple of posh big shopowners, who refused to even give one rupee but I didn’t hesitated to thank them for their contribution.

For four long hours I was on the streets, hopping shop-to-shop without a single time to breathe a sigh to rest a while. I really don’t know from where all this energy is coming from? When I am on the streets, I really don’t even think anything else except requesting and thanking everyone to donate one rupee for the cause. There is someone I wish to mention specially and the gentleman taught me one beautiful lesson that I wish to share with one and all, in my next post…

Managed to raise Rs. 1320/- with the help of photographer Akshay Kulkarni, who contributed Rs.500/- for the cause…

BHARTIYA KISAAN BHAGWAN BHAROSE (Indian Farmers Totally Dependent on Rain God) – (23rd Mar 2010, 1840 Hrs)

BHARTIYA KISAAN BHAGWAN BHAROSE (Indian Farmers Totally Dependent on Rain God) – (23rd Mar 2010, 1840 Hrs)

My visit to the Konkan Region Villages (Phopheri & Saral) made me realise that ever since our Independence, the most essential infrastructure needed for the agriculture sector, i.e, Irrigation Facilities – have no place in our government’s planning commission. Since 1947, Indian farmers have been dependent totally on Rain Gods and hence, they can only do farming or cultivate crops for just four months, while for eight long months, the farmlands remain useless to make the farmers jobless.

The two farmers’ families I met confessed that if there were irrigation facilities, no one would dare to leave farming and every farmer would be happy. However, a government survey revealed in 2001 that 42 % of Maharastra had turned into Urban Population because from 1991 to 2001, 8 Million Farmers had quit farming. According to various experts in the field, this figure may even double up when the 2001 to 2011 survery report will be tabled in front of the nation… that means Maharastra State is losing farmers at an alarming rate. From 70 % population who were dependent on Agriculture Sector, only 58 % are left today…and there is all probability that the percentage may come below 50 % by 2011.

No irrigation facilities, Farmers’ Suicides, Massive decline in investment in agriculture, Withdrawl of Bank Credit at soaring input prices, Crash in farm incomes with explosion of cultivation costs, Shifting of millions from Food Crops to Cash Crops with all its risks, Corporate hijack of every major sector including seeds, ground water stress and privatization of that source – well, the poor uneducated Indian farmers cannot fight against the powerful lobby of the corporate giants to survive in this cut-throat competitive world.

The day is not far, when children of today’s generation will have to fight among each other to eat two meals a day… what with farmlands are getting lesser and less and the ever increasing population shows no sign of a comma or full stop… I shudder each time I think about such a Dangerous Issue that has really no place in media…No one is really thinking how the world is going to surivive without food… all one is bothered about is Global Warming, a farce that the Americans have created to misled the world to make billions of dollars to run their economy.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OF INDIA… DAY TWO (20th Mar 2010, 2200 Hrs)

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OF INDIA… DAY TWO (20th Mar 2010, 2200 Hrs)

All the money raised on the first day was duly deposited in the bank on the 19th morning. Having enquired about opening an exclusive account for the cause for my countrymen who wish to contribute can transfer it directly… I was advised by the Bank Executive that I need to register my non-profit making organization and only then they will help me with the new account. So I had to rush to BMC office near CST… I was courteously told by the police constables at the entrance that I will have to go in another office near Shivaji Market.

I was perhaps misled but by God’s grace met a wonderful gentleman (it slipped my mind to ask his good name), who guided me with great patience and interest after knowing the cause. He advised me about all the required documents that I will have to provide including the fee structure… meeting good people have become a norm and I am indeed lucky…

While I was running around various municipal offices, a fine gentleman Sukinder Bagai, a friend of Jaya Bhattacharya gave valuable contribution of Rs.1000/-. It is wonderful to see Indians uniting under one umbrella to support the cause with their valuable contribution and support. I also got calls from Dr. (Mrs) Anandita Malik and Dr. (Mr) Ravi Malik from Raipur with their sweet contribution of Rs.2000/-. So on day two, Rs.3000/- was raised from three beautiful people of our beautiful nation…

In the evening, I went to meet my hair stylist friend Prashant at Lokhandwala and his enthusiasm to support the cause touched my heart. He assured me all his help and soon within two weeks’ time, I will be keeping a donation box in his Salon and a big poster welcoming all his clients will be put on the door… Prashant wants to do a lot too, for the cause and has volunteered to help in any which way… We discussed various issues for hours and decided to meet again very soon…

One of my good friends Vishwanath Shetty (working for Zapak.com) called me after I had messaged him about the movement yesterday… I had lost contact with Vishu since the last one and a half years… so he called and blasted me first and then it seemed like yesterday. He assured me of his support and asked me to visit his office, so we could raise a substantial amount from all employees at Zapak…

Tired but content to see how responsible Indians are coming forward to support the cause… I am now all set to visit two farmers’ families in Alibaug to understand the ground realities of why families of farmers are getting extinct within two generations.

So till tomorrow… thank you one and all for all your love, beautiful smiles and selfless contribution…





Friday, March 19, 2010

HUMANITY TRIUMPHS – FIRST DAY OF THE MOVEMENT (19th Mar 2010, 0345 Hrs)

HUMANITY TRIUMPHS – FIRST DAY OF THE MOVEMENT (19th Mar 2010, 0345 Hrs)

My beautiful nation India proved this day HUMANITY EXISTS… the day surely started with the last minute touches… surprisingly, Zen CafĂ© donated indirectly by cutting down on the Print-outs’ rate by slashing one rupee for 36 pages… that is Rs.36/- donation… It also proved that I was at the right path and there are a billion plus Indians, who are ready to support the suicide farmers’ families with their valuable contribution.

Having prepared the donation box with the poster, I headed towards the Sai Baba Temple… prayed to Him to give me strength and guide me in the right direction. The first stop was my newspapers’ stall at Ambernath Station. Sandeep was touched when I told him about my mission… he asked me with his innocence – ‘Only one rupee? What if, I wish to donate more?’ The beginning was beautiful and he contributed Rs.20/-…

At 1.00 pm, I boarded the fast train to Dadar… some of the college guys did try to read the caption on my T-shirt… a look of amazement and curiosity… I was calm, confident and full of pride to face the unexpected for the farmers’ families of my nation… Overwhelming response as every passenger donated generously… Honestly, I never expected young college students to come forward with their valuable donation… In fact, they were very happy to donate generously unlike the older generation… there were queries and there were skeptical views as well… however, 95 per cent Indians donated generously.

Laxmikant Verma, a professor who teaches Mechanical Engineering in two colleges… was the find of the day… he requested for my mobile number and then gave his number and told me – ‘Please visit my colleges and we can mobilize the students to raise a good amount for the cause.’ Yes, there are people who believe in doing something good for the nation in their own small ways… a group of students from Wilson College immediately requested for the blog’s link on my way to Andheri, took out their notebooks and noted down the blog's link while donating generously… Yes, there were very few questions about the authenticity of my efforts and mission also… however, when I told them I was a Film Journalist once and had contributed articles in more than 60 plus publications in National & Internationally since the last one decade, there were look of amazement… and now have dedicated my life to support suicide farmers’ families, they were amazed as to what made me to give away a lucrative career that every single journalist dreams of…

My look surely misled people to think I am a foreigner hahahahaha… what do I do about my appearance? However, when I request them humbly in chaste Hindi… they get shock and ask about my family tree…

Who says RPF soldiers are heartless? This day, they proved every one wrong by donating well without questioning unlike few educated people… who refused to even donate ONE SINGLE RUPEE…after asking whole lot of questions… No offence to anyone as such, such reactions was expected and in fact, I was expecting more than I had experienced today… Most of the shopkeepers were amazed and welcomed me with a smile on their faces and when they hear my request – ‘Sir one rupee per Indian for suicide farmers’ families…’ – they smile, ask and donated with 2, 5, 10 rupees… From 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm, I was in the train and on the streets hopping shop-to-shop in hot sun… Since this was the first day… I didn’t want to push hard and decided it was time to return home…

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you that the bigger the shops, the smaller the donation amount was and the smaller the shops, the bigger the donation was… I would also like to tell you about some elite customers, who when approached just walked away as if I was suffering from leprosy hahahahah…

Architectural Firm S M Studio (Meghana Shetty & Suresh Mistry) donated valuable Rs.5001/-… It was surely an amazing gesture coming from them and they also promised that they would forward my cause to all their friends… The total amount raised today jumped to Rs.9251/-, great thanks to Meghana & Suresh…

Yes, it was surely a very tiring experience considering it to be the first day… I know in coming days, my stamina will increase to walk the streets for longer hours to raise more money because my passion has doubled up today and my belief in HUMANITY has become stronger than ever before.

Support has been pouring in from Delhi (Vasundhra Singh, an old friend with no contact since the last few years) and Birmingham University (Eesha Shukla, an avid follower of my blog)…

The bliss that is obtained when you are working for others is the ultimate joy I have experienced today to remember my Mamman (late Mrs. Pratibha Jaiswal, she adopted this orphan as her son), who always took great care to make everyone comfortable and happy with her caring nature… I miss her so much today after the day’s work… she would be so happy for this movement and I know she would have donated generously and bless me too!

After the hectic day, it was time to share my experience with pillars of strength, who were anticipating about the response that I would get… Jaya Bhattacharya, Sameer, A, P, my English Teacher Mr. KK Roy Choudhury, Madan Patil… everyone was very happy with the response… I am so glad that the foundation has been laid to Support Suicide Farmers’ Families…

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A GOOD BEGINNING & FRIENDS CAME FORWARD TO DONATE GENEROUSLY (18th Mar 2010, 1040 Hrs)

A GOOD BEGINNING & FRIENDS CAME FORWARD TO DONATE GENEROUSLY (18th Mar 2010, 1040 Hrs)

Yesterday, it was a hectic day for all the last minute preparation. Sameer Gambhir donated the ‘Donation Box’ and added another contribution of Rs. 500/- for a start. He even opened a separate bank account for me for this movement. Jaya Bhattacharya donated Rs. 2000/-, Kushal Sharma added another Rs.200/- from his side, writer Nareshji (assisted Anees Bazmee in WELCOME) donated Rs.251/- and a new friend Shiva Tripathi gave Rs.100/-. Another friend Devesh Sharma donated Rs.20/- and promised he would add a bigger amount in next couple of weeks.

With so many people backing up, I am sure my countrymen will come forward to help this cause and with all the help from one and all of our beautiful nation… we will be able to inch one step towards eradicating farmers’ suicide from our nation, which has plagued the nation for many many decades now. Making the farmers self-reliant and continue farming are the aims of this movement and at the same time, with all the help from the beautiful citizen of India… we will be able to produce more food for the nation.

I know, it seems like a big dream project but with one step at a time, we will all inch towards achieving the unexpected

Yes, I have plans to use all the money raised in productive ways to make these families self-reliant rather than make them the centre of pity... I will be involving each villager to learn to move ahead with the changing times to earn more from their produce by introducing various methods to overcome their poverty stricken lives... At the same time, I want them to continue farming so that the percentage of farmers shouldn't reduce because of all these suicides... the more the farmers, the more the produce and the more the nation will be...

At the same time, by interacting one-to-one with the mass, I will be generating awareness about our callousness to overlook such a serious issue and how they can change to safeguard lives of their children's future...

At the same time, I will be counselling all the farmers of villages I will be visiting as to why they shouldn't commit suicide in near future... use their expertise in their respective creativity to overcome obstacles in life for their decent living... The support I have been getting from all over the world proves that HUMANITY is still alive in this wonderful world of ours, where GREED and being EVIL are aplenty...

Lesser farmers in the world mean less food in every nation. Less food means high prices... the future looks very dangerous for all the children today of every single nation... Farmlands are being converted into concrete jungles or corporate companies are exploiting them to the fullest without realizing as to what will happen when there will be no farmers and farmlands left in the world... what will the children eat then???

As I mentioned earlier, I will be the bridge between the urban and the rural population... those of us, who live in urban cities don't even think once from where we get all the food and how hard the farmers have to work every day in hot sun and rain... so my movement will generate this awareness in the urban cities so that we all can help the rural belt...

A lady writer-poet Fellpony from UK wrote to me with two strong beautiful words 'Never Fear', which has given me great courage to start my movement with no fear at all. I feel really blessed that God, my Sai Baba has opened my eyes to work for the suicide farmers’ families.

Thank you one and all,

Johnny D
Twitter Account: @support4farmers
Email: support4suicidefarmersfamilies@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

VIDARBHA JAN ANDOLAN SAMITI HAS ASSURED OF THEIR HELP (16th Mar 2010, 2315 Hrs)

VIDARBHA JAN ANDOLAN SAMITI HAS ASSURED OF THEIR HELP (16th Mar 2010, 2315 Hrs)

Exactly a week ago, 10 farmers in Vidarbha region had committed suicide, which was reported by Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti - VJAS (see Times of India dated 11th March 2010) due to debt and distress. Each time, I read about farmers’ suicide my heart cries from within and I wonder as to why we all are allowing such a crime to happen on our face. It is this news that changed my life and on 12th March, every thing seemed clear to me.

I browsed VJAS site and called Kishore Tiwari, who is the President of the NGO. I then mailed him requesting him to provide me with all the families’ details (wives and children’s name, village addresses) so that I can visit them in person to understand all the reasons as to why they lost the men of their houses. In the morning I got his mail and he has promised all his support and will provide me addresses of those 10 affected families. In ten days time, I will be visiting these families and do what is required to regain their lives after what they have lost…

It is not an easy task to deal with death even when our parents or grand-parents or loved ones get old and not forgetting all those who are fond of pets… so imagine what a family faces when the head of the family choses to end his life because he sees no sign of life being better… how do these families live when such a drastic step is taken by the farmers? In the 80 odd days of 2010, already 147 farmers have committed suicide in Vidrabha Region, i.e. almost 2 farmers are commiting suicide every single day in this region… each time, I eat my food… I realize how precious it is becoming, which is tainted with blood of the farmers…Yes, it is sad the humans of the world! Are you listening?

The sooner I will get the addresses of all these farmers’ families I will be heading towards Vidarbha Region with whatever help will be in my disposal. Since yesterday, I have been busy mailing everyone about my movementrequesting them to come forward and the support have been so great! Humanity surely has shown its sign of existence with all the support I am getting from all over the world.

The two words 'Never Fear' from an old lady writer-poet Fellpony from UK has given me great courage to start my movement… come join me with your precious one rupee donation.

THE T-SHIRT DESIGN


Sunday, March 14, 2010

ENCOURAGING REACTIONS AND SUPPORT FROM FRIENDS (14th Mar 2010, 1530 Hrs)

ENCOURAGING REACTIONS & SUPPORT FROM FRIENDS (14th Mar 2010, 1530 Hrs)

Yesterday, the day was hectic but really worthwhile in every which way… Support and reactions from friends were indeed encouraging and heartwarming… so that means I am really not alone in my mission. I am blessed to have friends who think alike to support such a difficult mission.

While people (a writer IT professional Abhijit Rudra from Calcutta; Josie, a granny poet from London; a poet-writer Ron from Holland) I have never met in person (they follow my work at
www.greatwriting.co.uk & blog) have been showing their concern and support in their own ways, friends in Mumbai from various fields have not only pledged their support but they also guided me in the right way. Indeed, I felt blessed!

Sameer Gambhir and Jaya Bhattacharya (Film & TV actor) have lend me all their support by discussing various pros and cons of the movement in great detail as we spend near about an hour and a half… they have also pledged financial support in setting up the basic necessities and I know such great friends will be always there by my side in this movement. Another great friend AA from Hyderabad has even donated Rs.500/- even before I have started my mission and he has assured me of all help that I would require.

I did messaged some of my celebrity friends yesterday throughout the day… singer Hema Sardesai, actor Naved Aslam, Vinay Kalantari, Fashion Designer Bhumika Chedda, actor Moushumi Chatterjee’s actor daughter Meghaa, photographer Akshay Kulkarni and my Rakhi sister Dr. Anandita Malik have come forward to wish me all their support and best wishes. I know there are many, who would read my blog posts to finally come forward to support the cause in few days time.

In the late evening, I had two T-shirts printed for the movement with my mission’s captions –

Front:

200,000 FARMERS’ SUICIDE
1997 – 2009
& STILL COUNTING…

Back:

http://support4suicidefarmersfamilies.blogspot.com
*** one-man-crusade ***

After a hectic day, I was lost in my thoughts to feel oh so wonderful to see every thing is falling in the right places with precision timings!

ONE SINCERE REQUEST:

May I request all the readers and followers of this blog to kindly suggest ways to make these affected families self-reliant so that they can be encourage to live a life with decent living conditions to move ahead in life…so please-please do share what you wish to do if you are in my place… by sharing your ideas and views, you will be helping directly the families of the farmers and helping the nation in your own small way… The bigger picture always has small-small pixels… so please do share your vision with me to encourage each other with your small contributions…

Thank you one and all…

Johnny D

Saturday, March 13, 2010

GENOCIDE CONGRESS STYLE, CALLOUSNESS, HEINOUS CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY OR SIMPLY THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT OF INDIAN CONGRESS GOVERNMENT SINCE INDEPENDEN

GENOCIDE CONGRESS STYLE, CALLOUSNESS, HEINOUS CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY OR SIMPLY THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT OF INDIAN CONGRESS GOVERNMENT SINCE INDEPENDENCE = 200,000 FARMERS DEATH IN 12 YEARS??? YOU JUDGE INTERNAL COURT OF JUSTICE… (13th Mar 2010, 1045 Hrs)

46/per DAY; 1388/ per MONTH; 16,666/ per YEAR = 200,000 FARMERS DEATH IN THE LAST 12 YEARS – CONGRESS LED MANMOHAN SINGH’S GOVERNMENT & THE NATION ARE STILL SLEEPING... Because this is what I call GENOCIDE CONGRESS STYLE…!!!

A nation of 1.25 billion plus, dominated by 70 per cent of the total population depending on agriculture, loses 46 farmers daily and the government of India is not at all bothered about such a serious phenomenon… Genocide of the modern world need not be executed only in wars… it can be executed in a well-calculated manner with some high level governance where in the Congress High Command Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Gandhi Scion Rahul Gandhi and various Chief Ministers of respective states are playing great roles to achieve an all time record 200,000 farmers death in the last 12 years.

Genocide Congress style, callousness, heinous crime against humanity or simply the greatest achievement of Indian Congress Government since India’s Independence in 1947??? While the nation is still sleeping, I wonder if the world taking a note of such a serious phenomenon that is an alarming issue plaguing the country since the past decade and NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING has been done by the Congress Government in stopping these deaths… who are more bothered to provide 90 per cent of police force of a state (Maharastra) to release a Shah Rukh Khan’s movie (MY NAME IS KHAN)… all because Congress earned more than 20 crores from the producer and star actor… CONSCIENCE and HUMANITY are not for leaders, actors and greedy bastards… who will not even burn a single candle when a poor farmer dies… Farmers, who feed the nation, are being killed in thousands every single month by the government of India.

166 Lives lost in 26/11 Mumbai Attack & the whole nation woke up to burn candles... but when the people who feed the nation commit suicides, NO ONE REALLY CARES!!! Irony of being an Indian!

Truly so, because when 26/11 the Chief Minister of Maharastra and India’s Home Minister were made to step down by the government as well as public pressure… however, on an average 46 per day, 1388 per month, 16,666 per year farmers have been dying since 1997, totaling to a major number of 200,000 farmers who have died due to debt and distress… and YES, neither the Nation or the Prime Minister are really bothered about these deaths… isn’t it surprising? While the Home Minister and Chief Minister of Maharastra is more concerned to release an SRK movie…

Where are we heading folks and truly so I feel ashamed to be called an Indian, where the Finance Minister is more concerned about the 311 billionaires to raise petrol and diesel price rise and give subsidies to all private airliners and the metropolitans are more concerned about – ‘Where’s the party tonight?’

What is more surprising is that the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee reveals and claims that the rising price in essential food items are benefiting the farmers (THE BIGGEST LIE THE FM HAS EVER UTTERED IN HIS POLITICAL CAREER)so much so that every single day 46 farmers are dying, either because of hunger or else committing suicide… these facts have been revealed by award winning documentary filmmaker Deepa Bhatia in NERO’S GUESTS, who has documented Magsayay Award Winner P Sainath’s long and difficult struggle since the last five and a half years. The article BITTER HARVEST by Radha Rajadhyaksha was published in Times of India dated 27th Feb 2010.

‘No one cares about us’ – is what most farmers say and truly so, while the nation is struggling and complaining about the price rise, no one has even bothered to look into the homes of these poor farmers, whose families are struggling hard to make their ends meet. No relief from the government reaches them in time and even Rahul Gandhi and the Prime Minister have confessed that only 15 paise per rupee reaches the affected farmers… imagine 85 paise are stolen by none other than government agencies (that is how every Congress leaders and government servants are becoming crorepatis nowadays)… So where do we really go from here folks?

Almost 70 per cent of the population is still dependent on the agriculture sector and the the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi, Finance Minister, Home Minister and Agriculture Minister are all calming that price rise have benefited the farmers while hoarders (supported by local politicians) have made all the crores… is this what the nation is proud of for its 8+ per cent growth… growth at the cost of 46 lives per day (since the last 12 long years) of farmers who grow food for the nation??? Does this growth really deserves pat on PM Manmohan Singh’s back and the billion plus population should say KUDOS MANMOHANJI… you and the Congress have done a great job for killing 200,000 farmers in the last 12 years…

Since the plight of the farmers have not been heard or solved since the last 12 long years, activist in various place say – ‘Perhaps the only way is to kill, to attack. Perhaps this will open their eyes.’ Now tell me Mr. Chidambaram, if these poor farmers are given such a harsh treatment and no choice at all to survive… why will they not lift guns in their hands to fend for their lives, as it is they are dying because of government policies??? And then you will launch Operation Green Hunt with all your might like George Bush to kill them by calling them NAXALS… IS this how the Indian Government operates to suppress the poor and downtrodden Mr. Home Minister??? 311 Billionaires Vs 200,000 Dead Farmers!!! Where is the justice?

As Sainath puts it – ‘In the last 15 years INEQUALITY has been our FASTEST GROWING SECTOR as it has grown faster than at any time in our history since the British Raj.’ While banks are too happy to lend the rich loans at 6 per cent with no collateral to buy another Mercedes, the poor farmers are not even given loan amounting to just Rs 8,000 at decent rate that they can afford to pay… now why this injustice is meted out at the nation’s farmers who are toiling hard in hot sun to feed the nation and starving their own families??? It was the same Rahul Gandhi, who shouted aloud at BJP for laughing at a farmer’s death… so what has he done really to control the 200,000 deaths in various villages of the nation??? Well, we all know he was busy promoting Shah Rukh Khan’s film for 4 long hours in Mumbai to show Congress’ might in the state!

A release of Shah Rukh’s film is more important for the Gandhi Scion and the Congress rather than save 46 lives of poor farmers, who are dying daily in various parts of interior India…

The nation wants answer from the callous government as to why nothing is being done to save these lives… aren’t they precious like the elite who died at Taj and Trident Hotels on 26/11? Are they not Indians Mr. Prime Minister? Is this what the biggest democracy of the world is all about? Kill the poor and feed the rich…

P.S: I do hope more bloggers will write about this to spread the message worldwide about the GENOCIDE our Congress government is responsible for… will the International Court of Justice punish the Indian leaders for such a heinous crime???


EXCLUSIVE BLOG - http//support4suicidefarmersfamilies.blogspot.com (13th Mar 2010, 1030 Hrs)

EXCLUSIVE BLOG - http//support4suicidefarmersfamilies.blogspot.com (13th Mar 2010, 1030 Hrs)

The blog is dedicated to all those poor Indian farmers, who have committed suicide due to debt & distress and no sign of relief from government. All related post on Indian Farmers & My One-Man-Crusade Experience will be posted now in the exclusive blog


THINK HARD: What will happen when all our farmers will commit suicide or else migrate to cities in order to survive... YES! There will be no food...Prices will skyrocket & the government as usual will blame on farmers without really helping them...

As it is farmlands are being sold to big corporate companies to establish their car factories and other industries… farmers are being made guinea pigs to serve greed for these rich corporate houses. Less farmland means Less Produce and more the prices will rise in future. If these farmers are not supported enough to continue with farming, from where will all the food grains come? Have you ever thought about such a grave situation in coming years… what will happen to your children when they grow up? It will definitely lead to man eating man phase… there will be war every single day for food.

I may not be able to serve all the farmers’ families but yes, a little start will save at least a few of them to lead their lives with dignity and they will work hard for the progress of the nation in a very-very small way. I am all set now and from 18th March 2010, you may follow the blog for every day update of my mission.

Till then, join me in helping the farmers of our nation in a small way.

Johnny D

http://support4suicidefarmersfamilies.blogspot.com