Tuesday, May 31, 2011


“Angels are visibly invisible!” – Johnny D

This is what I have experienced in my journey of destiny ever since I started the movement... invisible because not everyone can recognise, see or else meet them in person... they are visible to only those whom they wish to help with no conditions attached. Angels are humans like all of us, except their invisibility is what keeps them unique and different from normal humans. I have been truly blessed by Sai Baba to have met so many of them since the last one year... they have entered my life from nowhere, flown from distant land and countries to help, support, encourage, assist and above all trust to see this movement moves forward step by step.

To the TEN BEAUTIFUL ANGELS, all my gratefulness and gratitude will indeed be less when I think of their generous contribution. Last year, I approached many people (70+), I knew to support me (with Rs. 1000 /- per month support for 12 months), only these TEN ANGELS came forward with no questions asked to lend their strong support for one long year. As the first year period (June 2010 to May 2011) comes to an end, I wish to thank from the bottom of my heart the TEN BEAUTIFUL ANGELS for their invaluable support & kind help... I am truly grateful to each one of them, without which I wouldn't have built a strong base in Vidarbha for the movement... Sai Baba bless you all always!

Mr. G A – Writer-Poet, Kerala
Mr. Prem Nath - Well-known Architect-Designer, Mumbai
Mrs. Well-known Architect-Designer, Mumbai
Mr. Well-known Bollywood Director, Mumbai
Ms. Nausheen Ali Sardar - Well-known Actress
Mrs. Shachi Bhanushali - Housewife, Hyderabad
Mrs. Payal Gidwani Tiwari - Celebrity Yoga Instructor, Mumbai
Mrs. Jyoti Gidwani - Housewife, Mumbai
Ms. Tejal Rajyagor - GiveIndia, Mumbai
Mrs. Supriya Manjunath - Housewife, Mysore

The first year had been a year of learning, unlearning and learning period for me in Vidarbha, a completely unknown territory for me. I came here with the soul intention to do my best to provide a platform for the suicide farmers’ widows and their families along with marginal farmers in coming years. The task is challenging, no doubts about it and a very long one indeed! However, my life is now devoted to do everything possible that destiny wants me to act on... Looking back at my life, I know now all through God had been grooming me all the while so I could finally end up in Vidarbha to do the needful.... I always tell everyone that it is DESTINY who chose me and not otherwise...

The blessings of all the departed souls of the farmers and good wishes from all across the world to keep moving forward a step at a time... I have been fortunate to meet amazing angels in this journey. The search for the Second Year TEN BEAUTIFUL ANGELS is still on... I started to send mails to many people from 17th of May 2011 and so far, FIVE beautiful angels have confirmed their yearly contribution to support me from June 2011 to May 2012... I need FIVE more angels and I know Sai Baba will send them from nowhere...

Once again, I wish to thank all the Beautiful Angels, who are supporting this movement. This movement is not about me helping the poor farmers’ widows and their children but this movement is for the future of all the tiny-tots, who will grow to have a very dangerous future – future that will not have enough land for cultivation; scarcity of water for drinking and irrigation; less farmers to grow food grains for the ever-increasing population and a life that will be suffocated in the concrete jungle as the wild forest will also have no place in near future...

Whenever I think of the future, not too far though, I shudder at the thought of it! I wonder, what will these tiny-tots do when they will grow to be adults? Think about the dangerous future ahead that is fast approaching with a pace that is faster than the hand of the second on your watch / clock!

Sunday, May 29, 2011



With no proper education to their credit, Indian farmers are by far one of the best and are more intelligent than most of educated farmers of the world. They can predict rain perfectly when they see the clouds changing above, have a great knowledge about various ills & benefits of climatic influence on various crops and other agriculture related technicalities... however, not being educated surely have its disadvantages as well. They toil hard in hot sun, heavy rains and cold winters to feed the nation however, what they have always lacked are good marketing skills to sell their produce in the market. All their hard work goes in drain because it is not the farmers who control the market price of the produce but it is the market lobby which has an upper hand to exploit the farmers’ hard work.

Over the years, government policies and strong market lobby have been exploiting Indian farmers or may I say, most of the farmers of the world, to make the farmers depend on these external forces. As we have seen in the previous post how government MSP (Minimum Support Price) plays havoc with farmers with respective cash crops and food grains... Since most of the Indian farmers are not all that rich and educated, they have no option but to give in to the middlemen (of the market lobby) to sell their produce at lower rates most of the time. If the produce is more, the lobby sees to it that they buy the produce at the lowest bid price to match the MSP and when there is shortage, they will entice the farmers with a high price... yes, it is the same law of economics of demand & supply.

When I was running a high-end vegetable supermarket TARKARI in Hyderabad, there was this educated farmer called Maru, who was really intelligent & smart to market his Organic English Vegetables in the most profitable ways to demand high returns because of his quality grown produce. However, he was not greedy and content at the price people were ready to pay what he deemed right for him. Since he was the only farmer who had the expertise to grow Organic vegetables, his rates were never challenged. He was a regular supplier for our shop and I must confess we made good profit too. The end stores always end up making good profits than the farmers... somewhere down the line, this thing should be mutually agreed upon to benefit the farmers as well, so I think and consider. Like, we at TARKARI never hesitated to pay Maru Farm their rates as long as we were making our customers happy. He, as the farmer was happy, we as the end store were happy and customers getting pure Organic vegetables were happy. In such a scenario, everyone is content and happy to get what each one wishes...

Now, such situation doesn’t happen in the large national, state or city based markets... because a large quantity is involved and a large variety is at stake. However, I strongly feel that it is certainly not difficult to achieve the best possible ways, where in everyone involved to serve the society at large are benefitted... but it is the greed factor which always end up exploiting the poor farmers’ condition... which leads to suicide due to debt trap. Good marketing skills of farmers will lead to a better future but since majority of the farmers in India are poor, they cannot fight the system to change it to their benefits... and yes, government is also to be blamed for not being with the farmers in this respect. If government have stringent laws to benefit the farmers, there will be less farmers’ suicide in India.

The fault also lies with the farmers because they don’t unite to be the force to demand a set price from the market lobby... wherever farmers have united, they have fetched great results. In a village near Medak, Andhra Pradesh, 7 women farmers took over growing sorghum (Jowar) during drought as men farmers had failed miserably to sustain agriculture in the village... within three years of hard work, these women are running an export house by exporting sorghum to European Countries and have written a new chapter in Indian Agriculture... there are many cases like Medak, where women have become more successful than men in terms of farming because they united to become a force with an attitude that – ‘We are better capable than men to feed our family better’...

Whenever I read such achievements, I feel proud of women in villages of India and I salute them from the bottom of my heart. A good marketing skills have to be learned by the farmers within their own villages to take on the might of city market lobby and this change in attitude will fetch good returns to farmers of the world...

... to be continued...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011



The series – “What the Farmers Need” have helped find to an extent a voice among the local leaders and other NGOs in Vidarbha on the issues that I have been raising through the blog... I am glad about this sudden change and to a large extent I am thankful to each one of them for raising the issues of what the farmers actually need to cultivate better and continue farming. The change in attitude is welcoming indeed! More and more people should join in to spread awareness about what will benefit the farmers of, not only the Vidarbha region but also nationwide.

Minimum Support Price – MSP as it is popularly known is usually governed by the State Agriculture Department and is monitored overall by the Agriculture Ministry. MSP is the price that is controlled by the government so that farmers get a suitable price for their produce. However, the fact remains that almost every year the MSP decided by the State Government is never in favour of the farmers. While the farmers toil hard in hot sun, high temperatures and heavy rains... it is the market traders and hoarders who benefit the most because of government policies...

Last year, 2010 – 2011, the cotton harvest was better than previous couple of years because Vidarbha received 25 % excess rainfall... yes, to an extent crops were damaged (which increased the rates further) due to untimely rains but most of the farmers were happy to sell their White Gold to private traders instead of government procurement agencies in Vidarbha. One will be shocked to know that the MSP for cotton was decided at Rs. 3000 / - per quintal... while private traders paid handsomely in the range that many farmers fetched as high as Rs.6500 / - Plus per quintal from the minimum of Rs. 4000 / - onwards. The faulty decision of the State Government to pay peanuts to the farmers saw an adverse effect and farmers flocked towards the private traders to sell their cotton at a much better price. In Gujarat, farmers fetched up to Rs. 7000 /- plus per quintal...

Now, such a phenomenon doesn’t happen for every crop or every year... the reason for the private traders to pay higher price was due to washed out cotton production in all the neighbouring countries (China, Pakistan, Bangladesh & others) which had resulted in shortage in the international market. Quick to gauge the international market trends, the traders were quick to grab hold of all the cotton from farmers... farmers and traders were both happy while the loser State Government just kept watching silently without realizing how the market had driven the price higher than the MSP. During such an instance the farmers will not complain but when the same situation changes in the opposite direction, the farmers will be at heavy losses and then the depression sets in and many succumb to the pressure to end their lives, unable to pay their debts.

When the rainfall is good, the yields are better and then the market collapse because of excess crops... in such cases the MSP plays a major role in saving the farmers’ hard work... however, it is the middlemen, traders and the end stores who benefit the most and not the farmers, who should actually be the real beneficiaries... the faulty government policies have made many farmers and their children to quit farming because if your hard work is not fetching you reward, give me one good reason as to why the farmers should continue farming... it is very easy to blame the farmers for the failure of crops and that they are leaving farming for city jobs... the reality on grounds are stark and if your final produce cannot even fetch your initial investment... any businessman will tell you – “It is simply not worth!”

The Market Lobby is also so strong that they control the price when the produce is harvested according to demand... if the crops are in plenty, the market lobby buys at a cheaper rate and when the produce is in short supply, the rates get higher as it happened in case of cotton mentioned above. MSP should be so calculated that irrespective of the produce, the farmers should benefit rather than the traders and end stores, who sell the produce at much-much higher rates that a farmer really gets... so the MSP should be decided to benefit the farmers and not kill them... however, it never really happens...

... to be continued...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Having explored Rajasthan and Gujarat to meet some of the most amazing achievers in the first 20 days of April... I headed towards Bombay and took the much needed break to unwind my mind more than my body... I really needed this break badly because my mind, ever since, I started the movement has been on a continuous roller coaster ride thinking all the time about what next?

The state of depression, the unending worries, the helplessness for not being able to save the lives of poor farmers who succumb to suicide (a continuous process in Vidarbha and many parts of India), the worry of when the Trust Registration will get over, when the fund raising activities can be started and when the units of widows will start functioning... all these and many more... not forgetting my personal life has been in shambles, losing friends because of the movement and of course making amazing new friends.... my mind really needed the break!

So, I locked myself at my friend’s place and didn’t even go out anywhere for 20 days... I was completely cut off from the world physically even though I kept updating picture albums of my trip to Barefoot College Tilonia, Rajasthan and Mitticool Man Shri Manshukh Bhai Prajapati’s work and kept changing my status but not as actively as I usually do... I even didn’t make calls to friends or received calls from friends during these 20 days... all I did was, watch some movies, cook, eat and sleep... the rejuvenation was indeed great but the summer heat in Vidarbha is simply terrible this year...

When I went home in Yavatmal (the Naigaonkar family who adopted me)... it was boiling hot!!! The heat wave was simply extraordinary and the soaring temperature, well, the less said is better... the heat is very severe but now that I am finally back in Wardha, the work will have to start, be it the high temperatures, heat, rain or cold winter... I am so happy, to be back home!!!

I will be writing in my new posts all that I had experienced in Rajasthan and Gujarat to tell you about the extraordinary beautiful people I met and interacted with, stories that will inspire many, knowledge that I had learned a great deal from each one of them and that will help many... I am glad I made this amazing trip to explore a complete new world! At home, I was welcomed  by  cobwebs and layers of dust... took hours to clean but I am so happy to be at home! 

Friday, May 6, 2011


Please check out the picture album in Facebook... with brief story about each achiever from the amazing college, where "The Teacher is the Learner and The Learner, The Teacher." Shri Bunker Roy's small beautiful world!