Wednesday, March 30, 2011



In the series that I started about “What the Farmers Need” – the next requirement is one of the major aspects that have been overlooked by the government policies and many local bodies. However, there are many dedicated individuals, who have played a major role in providing farmers and farmers’ families with additional alternative employment opportunities.

Farming as we all know is seasonal where irrigation facilities are not available and in majority of regions of the nation farmers have been dependent totally on the rain God or monsoon... as we had discussed earlier about the lack of irrigation facilities in rural scenario. So Farmers are busy in farms only for couple of months, in some cases 4 to 5 months except where irrigation facilities are available, like Punjab and Haryana, farming is a yearly activity. Now, Indian farmers have been farming only for couple of months to remain idle with no work in maximum months... this lay off results in no extra income but expenses of farmers’ families remain constant. If there are equal seasonal alternative employment opportunities for the farmers, the farmers can earn enough money to save for the next season of farming, thereby saving them to get into the debt trap.

Regions where in alternative employment opportunities are available, farmers’ suicide have been recorded less or almost nil... however, farmers’ suicide is a very complex issue as many on ground would confess and there are number of factors that affect the community. Villages where in alternative employment opportunities are aplenty are leading prosperous lives as compared to the interior rural regions. Alternative employment opportunities provide family with extra income throughout the year and that sustain the farmers’ families to lead a better and self reliant lives. A village in Yavatmal named Naigoan (Bk) have not seen a single farmers’ suicide in its history... and farmers are very prosperous in the village for the simple fact that maximum villagers have found additional work in the nearby WCL... I have interacted with many farmers there, including a 75 year-old farmer, who worked as a bonded labour in Sarpanch’s house for three odd decades and later with his savings of life, proudly bought 2 acre land to continue farming even at this age.

Such dedication and devotion of such individuals are an inspiration for other farmers to emulate but such inspirational stories never make it to the main stream media... yes, when there are suicide, the issue is highlighted as farm crisis... if Vidarbha has seen maximum farmers’ suicide in the last two and a half decades’ period... there are multiple reasons for it... all the irrigation water has been diverted to major industries and Thermal Power Projects, so one wonders, how do the farmers manage to irrigate their fields... Rain God plays an important role... after all Indian farmers have been living their lives Bhagwan Bharose (on God’s mercy). Employment opportunities should be created in village itself, one that will connect the activities with profit-making initiative and urban centres benefitting from it. That way, the interdependency will create more job opportunities and also bring in more money to flow from the urban to rural belts. However, such things are a rare phenomenon and instead, everyone is looking to exploit the poor farmers and extracting the last penny from them... instead of teaching them saving, the villagers are taught to take more loans and spend on lavish things that is not the basic requirements for villagers.

I do hope more and more people should come forward to establish rural units that will bring in the required change to provide more employment opportunities to safeguard farmers’ community from leaving farming and migrating to cities... farmers should live in villages for their own benefits and for the benefit of the nation. Will the government adopt such provisions to better the lives of the community... well, my guess is as wild as yours...

... to be continued...

Sunday, March 27, 2011



One of the major requirements for every farmer is availability of cheap labour for removing weeds from the fields and during harvesting season... no wonder, cheap labour has become a distant dream for poor farmers while the rich ones can afford to spend much... the increasing wage in labour for field work increases the initial investment of a farmer, thereby reducing the margin of profits... but this one aspect cannot be overlooked or avoided in spite of all the modern inventions and discoveries.

How can the farmer really overcome this phenomenon to earn more from his hard work? In the earlier days of farming, in most of the villages farming was a collective effort, which enhanced the profit of every farmer. With globalization and shortage of employment opportunities, most of the villagers started migrating to cities to earn their livelihood leaving farming to those who dare not leave their villages... the city life, good money for labour jobs and a good saving were and are the main attraction that villagers find difficult to resist.... and yes, one cannot blame them also because in the ever increasing prices of every essential items or be it education of children or else health care... everything needs money today. The shortage of manpower in villages resulted directly on increase of labour wages even in villages... the demand and supply theory... and if weeds removing and harvesting are not done in time, the farmer loses more money... so, labours started their higher demands to encash the shortage and farmers have no option but to succumb as the years progressed. I don’t say increase in labour was or is a bad thing... after all every human has the right to earn more to better one’s standard of living.

Availability of cheap labour has become a distant dream in most of the agricultural regions of the nation and world all over... however, if villagers stand united, they can overcome this crisis in a much better way as collective one force... in fact, there are various cases of some great success story where in villagers have united to solve this crisis to benefit every single farmer of the particular village. United we stand, divided we fall – this simple old adage stands true even today in modern times, yet, we humans because of our greed and ego, forego to suffer simple theory to achieve better results. Since weeding and harvesting are seasonal activities, getting labour at the particular time becomes difficult... and the shortage results in increase in wages...

Agriculture in India is perhaps one of the most disorganized sectors and policy makers have never paid any attention on what the farmers need actually... all the policy makers are concerned about is – the cash crops – so they can make their money, let the farmers die, who really cares! Before the decades of the 90s and 00s... one had not heard of farmers’ suicide as a phenomenal agriculture crisis... so what has changed in these two decades’ time? The effect of globalization and with MNCs entering the sector, farmers have lost all their heritage and practice, which made the farmers’ community self reliant... earlier, every farmer used to grow food for themselves and the extra grains were sold in the market... nowadays, they grow cash crops and then the money they get are again lost in buying food at a higher prices from the market... so both ways, the farmers lose money to fill the coffers of the rich...

The farmers’ community should be taught collective efforts, which will reduce their initial investment but then... the system in villages are so very complex and the crisis of cheap labour is going to escalate further as the years will go on... with migration towards cities continuing...

.... to be continued...

Friday, March 18, 2011

“support 4 suicide farmers families” TURNS ONE!

18th March 2010 - 18th March 2011: Turning ONE!

61 COUNTRIES: Australia, Austria, Algeria, Belgium, Brazil, Bahrain, Belarus, Canada, Czech Republic, China, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Ireland, Japan, Korea Republic, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Mauritius, Malaysia, Mongolia, Mexico, Morocco, Moldova, New Zealand, Norway, Netherlands, Nepal, Oman, Philippines, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Slovenia, South Africa, Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan, United States of America, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Vietnam... 



3008 + Page Views in the last 11 Months

1568 + Visitors Worldwide in the last 11 Months

To be honest, I had never even thought my small step of destiny will connect so many people and so many countries in one thread within a span of 11 months (only after the first month was over, I started recording all the details) worldwide. Truly-truly amazing and I am very-very thankful and grateful to Sai Baba and everyone who has shown great support and kindness to encourage and support me in the last one year. The journey would garner so many people across the world speaks about the universal problems and crisis of the farmers in every single country.

Many people across the globe got connected sharing their experiences about their countries and farmers’ problems. Vidarbha certainly is my karmabhoomi for life. The first year has been great in many ways... the base was established in Wardha with the help of Swapnil Barai, hundreds of shopkeepers from Andheri - Bandra & Thana, nameless Indians on the streets & local trains, 10 Special Angels and many beautiful angels from all across the world... who have come forward to support and encourage the movement. With the help of one & all, the strong base had taken great deal of hard work to build in the last one year...

I have lost many friends and so also have gained many friends in my journey of destiny... in many aspects, living life with the minimum requirement can be truly blissful... no TV, no Refrigerator, 10 T-Shirts, 2 Shirts, 1 Jacket & 4 Jeans & 5 Caps (I have near about 20 though) – one full year of wearing clothes without ironing, travelling in State Transport and pedalling my way to villages in bicycle... drinking water from wells, tube-wells in farms and villages... eating simple food served with genuine love... life has been blissful at times amidst all the miseries, pains, sorrows and poverty... the way I was being accepted in villages and yes, I have many widow sisters and nieces & nephews in Vidarbha now... I am no more alone today! I truly feel blessed and I am so-so grateful to my destiny for choosing me to bring me here!

Interacting with farmers and families in villages has given me a great learning about the ground realities of Vidarbha. Unlearning what I had learned all my life certainly was the first step that I learned after coming here. The challenges ahead are many and there are many-many years before the movement will achieve few small things to better lives of the suicide farmers’ widows and their children... the Trust registration is taking its own time and date after date are given because of being under-staff... I really don’t know how many more months will take for the final process to get over... but like Sai Baba says always – “Shraddha aur Saburi” (Devotion & Patience)... I am left with “Shraddha aur Saburi” that Sai Baba has given me in abundance.

There were too many experiences: some traumatic, some beautiful, some eye-opener & some too painful... overall, have become rich in many aspects to understand the ground realities and the love of acceptance among the poor is indeed an overwhelming experience! Vidarbha made me experience BLISS for the very first time in life among all the miseries because of the selfless genuine love given to me by poor widows & their lovely children... what I have lost and what I have got in the past one year has been tremendous in many ways... how helpless I have felt at times for not being able to save so many farmers who succumbed to suicide and how I had to fight bouts of depression time & again... only my heart knows... not many in the world would really understand the emotional trauma I have undergone in the past one year... however, every experience has made me strong for coming years to establish the movement into reality...

I wish to request all those who are reading this post to write to me about their countries’ problems connected with farmers and agriculture... everywhere the problems are the same and everywhere simple solutions are going to solve all these problems... I do hope more and more people will come forward to support the movement because this is for the future of the generation today, who are going to face a very dangerous future in another two decades... when there will be less water for drinking and agriculture, less fertile lands will be left, less number of farmers existing and but obvious food grains will be difficult to even imagine... I really shudder when I imagine the scenes from the near future... I pray to Sai Baba to give me strength to lead the poor of Vidarbha into a better future!

Thank you one & all from the bottom of my heart! Sai Baba bless you all!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

‎12th March 2010 - 12th March 2011: I am ONE today!

‎12th March 2010 - 12th March 2011: I am ONE today! 

Last year, early morning lightening struck me, I opened my eyes for the very first time in life to look beyond I, ME & MYSELF to start the one-man-crusade - "support 4 suicide farmers families" !

First Year has been a struggle to unlearn what I had learned all my life!
First Year has been a rich & traumatic experiences to understand farmers' plight!
First Year has been enriching to meet so many interesting people worldwide!
First Year has been good to build a strong base for the coming future!
First Year has taught me a great deal about the ground realities!

I wish to thank one & all from all over the world with my deep gratitude from the bottom of my heart for supporting the cause and give me encouragement in the journey of my destiny! Every small contribution from various strangers on the streets to friends and unknown (now friends) has added great value to strengthen the movement - "support 4 suicide farmers families"!

Johnny D
support 4 suicide farmers families
Vidarbha, India

Friday, March 4, 2011



I should have put this point before discussing the previous point (Organic Manure)... I missed one of the most important aspects that every farmer used to possess in the earlier days... Good Cattle. Cows, Bulls and Buffaloes used to be the proud possession of every farmer in earlier days, not any more though. As I had written earlier that in olden days, near about 90 to 95 per cent farmers of the nation used to have their own cattle, which provided them with milk, cow dung and help for ploughing the fields. However small or poor a farmer may be, they always had the least of two bulls and a cow to take care of all the field work and provide milk for the whole family to remain healthy. In the present days, if one will visit villages, one will realize that hardly 10 or even less percentage of farmers possess cattle.

Times have changed and so did the modern inventions and with times, tractors took place of the cattle, which required continuous care and attention. The arrival of modern inventions in agriculture surely has benefitted the bigger and rich farmers, who immediately shifted to mechanisation to get the field job done faster and with less labour. But the side effect cannot be ignored. The arrival of tractor made every farmer to get rid of their cattle and get used to the machine, this way, they either had to take loan to buy the tractors or else paid a particular rent to use the tractor of the rich farmers... so the poor farmers started filling the coffers of the rich without realizing that they were increasing their investment and reducing their margin of profits. On the other hand, it also made majority of farmers lazy as hard labour and love was needed to take care of cattle apart from trapping themselves into the debt circle.

The MNCs manufacturing tractors provided loans to sell their machines, thereby trapping the poor farmers in the vicious circle of debt. In the olden times, a farmer used to think a million times before taking a loan as little as Rs.1000 /- from the moneylenders by either putting their cattle or land as collateral. I have interacted with many farmers in various villages and those who possess good cattle, say, ‘Nowadays no one wants to tend the cattle because it requires a lot of labour and care from morning to evening, though it is very satisfying to have good cattle in-house. Milk, cow dung and field work, all in all, every farmer should have their own cattle because of its benefits. But tractors surely have spoilt majority of farmers from working hard in the last two to three decades. Farmers don’t realize what they have lost by not having cattle but times are changing and everyone is interested to reap more with less labour.’

The reality has been overlooked by many in the agriculture sector for the downfall of farmers’ output (profit margin) in the name of rapid growth and mechanisation. While the rich MNCs were earning profits and filling their coffers, poor farmers were being trapped in debt circle to increase their miseries multi-folds. A tractor will only plough the field but good cattle provides milk for the family, cow dung that are used as manures as well as to cook food by making cow dung cakes (upale) while ploughing the fields and pull the bullock cart (a trademark of every farmer in earlier days); and decreasing the initial investment. Good cattle also increase the financial aspect of a farmer whenever the cow gives birth to a calf. All these factors have been long forgotten by Indian farmers, who are blinded today with modern lives. Rapid development in the right direction should help the farmers and not push them towards the situation where in they commit suicide. The simple solution has been overlooked by many who are working in this field to help the farmers have increased the miseries of the community.

It is indeed interesting to see what the farmers have lost (once their strengths) in the name of rapid development that has increased their woes. The point is who do we blame – The policy makers, the rich MNCs or else the farmers? I would still recommend every farmer to have good cattle to sustain a balancing life with nature to get the maximum benefits!

... to be continued...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


(The poem was inspired by the 28th Feb 2011
killings of innocent poor villagers by police in 
Kakarapalli, Andhra Pradesh )

है ये दास्तान मेरे हिंदुस्तान की
जहाँ गरीबों को रोज रौंदा जा रहा
गोलियों का शिकार बनाया जा रहा है 
हर लाश की कीमत लगायी जा रही है
सब हमारे प्रधान मंत्री के कहने पर
एक नया इतिहास रचा जा रहा है

Indian Shining का नारा लगाया जा रहा है 
हकीकत बयान कर रही है मगर एक सच की
जहाँ चंद अमीरजादे और अमीर बन जाये
उसके लिए सरकार गरीबों की बलि चढ़ा रही है 
छोटे-छोटे गाँवों में, आदिवासी इलाकों में
रोज सरे आम सरकारी कत्लेआम हो रहा है

Police तो बनायीं गयी थी अवाम की रक्षा के लिए
पर यहाँ तो ये बन बैठें है सरकारी दरिन्दे
गरीबों पर अत्याचार कोई नयी बात नहीं
ये तो रोज गरीबों का शिकार करते हैं सरकार के कहने पर
है ये दास्तान मेरे हिंदुस्तान की
जहाँ गरीबों को रोज रौंदा जा रहा

कौन रोकेगा इस नरसंहार को?
कब तक यूँ ही गरीबों का बलि चढ़ेगा?
कब तक भारतवासी यूँ ही मुख्बदिरों की तरह चुप रहेंगे?
क्यों विश्व के ठेकेदार UNO ये तमाशा चुपचाप देख रही है?
कब भारत के प्रधान मंत्री अपना नरसंहार बंद करेगा?
ये है दुखद दयनीय दास्तान मेरे हिंदुस्तान की...

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