Saturday, January 22, 2011

MY JOURNEY SO FAR – PART I (22nd Jan 2011)

From the streets of Mumbai to the villages of Vidarbha, the journey so far has been full of challenges and traumatic experiences. Amidst farmers’ death all around the 11 districts of Vidarbha each month of the year, the challenge to establish a strong base in a steady manner is perhaps one of the biggest challenges I have faced so far. With all the kind and encouraging support from many kind-hearted souls from all around the world, I have managed to set my base in Wardha in few months’ time.

Support 4 Suicide Farmers Families is a life-long journey that I have undertaken to support at least few farmers’ families to better their lives in coming future. Research, interaction, discussion and investigation to understand the complexities of farmers’ suicide in Vidarbha have been an experience that has opened my eyes wide... towards disbelief and hard ground realities. However, there is still so much to learn, do research and understand about this man-made calamity that has been created rather than a way of life for the poor farmers. Do you really think a human would love to die on his/her own? Please ask yourself this question and the answer would be... we want to live, live a decent dignified life and live in peace...

Last March (18th) I started this movement as a one-man-crusade after having blogged on the issue for more than two years. The realization that the coming future without farmlands and farmers... what does the future holds for the coming generation... I was struck hard by the force that we all often call as destiny. Yes, it was in my destiny otherwise I really wouldn’t be here shifting with bag and baggage from the dream city Mumbai to settle down in the small town city Wardha in Vidarbha. My first visit in April 2010 was an eye-opener in many ways to interact with some of the farmers’ families in Vaigaon, who have suffered the loss of their near and dear ones. The first ever interaction was the most traumatic experience for me in my life... and each session with the suicide farmers’ families have drained me emotionally time and again... it is not an easy task to understand and make the victim’s family to talk about the horrible incident that has changed their lives forever for worse.

Children have been an inspiration that fills the void and trauma with little joy for a while with their innocence, antics and ever-wanting to know about me and the mission. There are many children, who don’t even remember if their fathers had really pampered them when they were alive... all they know is they are fatherless now or else have lost their grandfathers to suicide. The pain of the widows and the grit and determination of these brave women are indeed an exemplary state of surviving against all odds for the society at large to get inspired in our everyday lives. They are fighting the war every single day after their husbands have left them with almost nothing to survive and responsibilities of multiple children to look after... each story is same yet they are different in many ways and each time in my heart I salute these brave widows for being so brave to look after their fatherless children by slogging hard round-the-clock to see their innocent children smile and eat two-meals-a-day somehow.

.... to be continued...

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