Tag Archives: agriculture

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES-37

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A river is a permanent body of running water. The United Nations, recognizes in all 193 countries, some of which host impressive rivers like the Amazon and Mississippi. In fact, some countries have a network of more than 1,000 rivers. For example, Russia has approximately 100,000 rivers, which is more than any other country in the world. Rivers are important sources of livelihood, as they provide water, and are important sources for fish and hydroelectric power. Additionally, rivers such as Amazon even attract thousands of tourists annually. However, there are 17 countries that do not have any rivers. They are Bahamas, Bahrain, Comoros in Africa, Kiribati in Pacific, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, Malta, Maldives, Nauru in Oceania, Libya, Monaco, Marshall Islands in Central Pacific, Tuvalu in Pacific, UAE and The Vatican city.

    The British pound is the world’s oldest currency still in use – it is 1,200 years old. Dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. Pound has gone through many changes before evolving into the currency we recognise today. On the other hand Sterling silver pennies have been around since 775AD, with King  Offa, of Mercia, generally credited, for being responsible for the widespread adoption of the coins. The first fully printed banknotes were introduced in 1853. Before that, following its establishment in 1694, the Bank of England only issued partially printed notes with the ‘£’ sign as well as the first digit. The numbers had to be added by hand and each note had to be signed by one of the bank’s cashiers. Today’s banknotes developed out of these original handwritten notes.

The smallest bird is the bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) of Cuba and the Isle of Youth. Males measure 57 mm (2.24 in) in total length, half of which is taken up by the bill and the tail, and weigh 1.6 g (0.056 oz). Females are slightly larger. This is believed to be the lowest weight limit for any warm blooded animal.

A research study on worry reveals that more than one-third of what people worry about, are things that never happen. Another one-third of worry deals with things that have already happened in the past and that cannot be changed. The remaining one-third of the worry is divided between worrying about things that concern other people, and a small percentage are the real things about which we should worry. Just think of how often we worry about things, yet they never happen. So ponder well before you worry.

The primary problem with Indian Agricultue is that the average size of land holding at 2.28 hectares in (1970-71) has now halved to 1.08 hectares in (2015-16), creating immense pressure on land. Persons dependent on agriculture are still 43% of all Indians. Thus most of the farmers are shifting to cash crops and or allied activities to survive.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: SAPIENS–A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli historian and a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today, there is one. That is us. Homo-sapiens. How did our species succeed in this battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights? Was it to trust money, books and laws, and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism? And what will our model be like in the millennia to come?

    In the book “Sapiens—A Brief history of Humankind”—Dr Yuval Noah Harari, spans the gamut of human history, from the very first humans who walked the earth to the radical—and sometimes devastating—breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing, on insights from biology, anthropology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities.

    But have we become happier, with the history unfolding? Can we ever, set ourselves free from the heritage of our ancestors? And can we do something to influence the course of the centuries to come?

    Bold, out-of-the-box and provocative, the book challenges everything we thought we knew about being human beings.

    What is the meaning of Species? Animals belong to the same species, if they tend to mate and give birth to fertile off-springs. What is the meaning of Genus? Species that have evolved from the common ancestor. They usually won’t mate but can be induced to do so. Eg. Mule a cross between (Horse and donkey), and the Liger a cross between (Lion and Tiger).

    Now that we know the terms Species and Genus, we can understand the meaning of Homo-Sapiens—‘Homo’ is the genus and ‘Sapiens’ (intelligent) the species. Some other members of our genus are, now extinct, Homo Erectus and Homo Neanderthalensis. Homo Sapiens closest living species is Chimpanzees.

THE COGNITIVE REVOLUTION—THE RISE OF HOMO-SAPIENS

    Homo genus has, unusually big brains that drains a lot of energy. A Homo Sapien brain consumes 25% of energy at rest, 8% is the norm for other apes. The big brain, is an even bigger cause of human infants which are born relatively premature (in terms of physical strength) compared to other species. The long gestation period and the raising of the child implied that the evolution favoured strong social ties in humans. Regular use of fire started about 300,000 years ago.

    The carefully managed fire was not only used to clear forests but was also used for cooking food as it was faster to digest. Long intestines and large brains both use a lot of energy, it is hard to have both. Since cooked food led to shortening of intestines it resulted in our brains to grow bigger. As Homo-Sapiens, spread from East Africa to Arabian Peninsula, Europe, and Asia, they drove other Homo species like the Neanderthals to extinction. Some interbreeding did happen but it was mostly the Sapien’s superior social skills that allowed them to make communities and drove other Homo species into extinction.

THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE

    About 100,000 years ago, Homo-Sapiens migrated out of Africa, but returned, after losing to Neanderthals. About, 70,000 years ago, they tried again, and this time they succeeded, due to, the invention of language which allowed them to invent, tons of things like boats, lamps, needles. This cognitive revolution allowed Homo-Sapiens to dominate earth. Anthropologists (people who study human societies and cultures and their development) believe that our complex language was used more for gossip than to discuss where to hunt. And from there evolved the ability to create and believe in myths. The myths allowed us to collaborate and cooperate in large numbers in the form of tribes and now, in the form of the nation.

    The author goes on to say that nations are a myth and so are religions, and all are creations of our imagination. Unlike animals, trees, fish, rivers, the above myths have no association with the real physical entity. These myths, surprisingly, allow believers to work together and collectively. Homo-Sapiens ability to believe in myths allow us to form big groups of millions of individuals who have never met each other. Thus the author takes you through a high illusionary trajectory.

    In animals these groups are limited to the size of 25-30, who know each other. These animals cannot form large groups. The other big advantage of passing myths via language, is that, that it doesn’t require any DNA mutations. Buddhist monks pass on the celibacy, not via genes but by imparting their religion (again a myth) to the followers, some of who, convert. And that’s probably how Homo-Sapiens defeated Neanderthals. While Sapiens would have lost one-on-one combat, they had the wisdom to form large groups which Neanderthals couldn’t.

THE HUNTER GATHERER SOCIETY

    Barring the past 10,000 years, Sapiens have evolved in pre-agricultural hunter societies. They shaped our psychological and social characteristics. These ancient hunters knew a lot more about their own surroundings than us. While we, collectively, as a human society knew a lot more, the individuals of today knew a lot less. Hunters societies tended to eat wide and varied diet and hence, had a lower chance of malnutrition than the farmers who ate just a few staple crops. Hunter’s working hours were much less (30-35 hours per week) and since they neither engaged in the domestication of animals nor stayed in dense settlements, the epidemics were rare.

AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION—HISTORY’S BIGGEST FRAUD

    Agriculture started in about 9000 BC and domestication of crops was over by about 3500 BC. Today, we eat the same crops—Wheat, Maize, Rice, Potato, Millet, and Barley. Where, only a few species could be domesticated, they were in the Middle East, China, and Central America but not in Australia or Africa. And that’s where, independent domestication of crops started.

    Wheat went from an unknown crop, to a crop that has spread across the planet. Human bodies were not designed for agriculture and farming. Wheat demands protection from pests, animals and even other human beings. The only advantage farming has is, that it leads to more food per unit area and allowed humans to multiply exponentially. Overall, the agriculture revolution in the short run made the life of human beings miserable, so then, why did it happen?

    Agricultural revolution led to permanent settlements that encouraged women to have more kids. Over time, as farmers multiplied, they cleared even more lands reducing the scope for hunters even further. Just like the modern day luxury treadmill, agriculture soon became a necessity to support the ever-increasing population. And there was no going back then. Similarly, domestication of animals proceeded with slaughtering the most aggressive, weak, and economically unworthy animals first.

    Over a period of time, domesticated animals, evolved, to become economically more worthy and even more submissive. Just like wheat, animals such as chicken, sheep, pig, and cow spread all over the world, but then they were treated brutally. From repeated impregnation (i.e. making female animals pregnant) to castration (i.e. removal of testicles of a male animals), their life became miserable compared to the life in the wild. Who else, but Homo-Sapiens were the culprits.

BUILDING PYRAMIDS

    The food surplus exploded the population from 8 million in 10,000 BC to 250 million in about 100 AD. The food surplus eventually led to the emergence of bigger political and social orders like cities and nations. Rather than being based on some ingrained human characteristics, these were imagined human orders based on shared beliefs and myths. “All humans beings are created equal” is completely incorrect from a biological standpoint. Human beings are all different from each other. Animistic beliefs (meaning a belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence) are a myth, so are human rights. There is nothing biological about them. They only exist in our shared imaginations.

    Natural order is indeed the stable order. Even if people don’t believe in gravity, apples would still continue to fall. But if people don’t believe in human rights, society will collapse. While some aggression is a must in terms of police and army to enforce an order, but then the elites or the rulers themselves have to believe is such orders. Christianity, capitalism, democracy, all are imagined orders with a large number of believers.

    The two of the biggest imagined orders of the modern world are romanticism and consumerism. Romanticism teaches us that we must have as many experiences as possible to fulfil our expectations. Consumerism teaches us that we must consume as many goods as possible. The imagined order is inter-subjective. Radioactivity is objective, it happens whether you believe in it or not. An imaginary friend is subjective since it exists only as long as you believe in it. The preciousness of gold is inter-subjective since it exists not only in your imagination (belief system) but also in the belief system of millions of others.

    For changing an inter-subjective belief system, one has to convince everyone else, and to convince everyone else, they have to believe in an even bigger imaginary order.    Trust has replaced priceless things like honour, loyalty, morality, and love.

THE EVOLUTION OF MONEY

    A barter system does not measure accurately. If there are 100 types of goods then the two parties who are exchanging the goods have to know 4950 combinations of exchange rates every day. Money ends up being a central mechanism to linearize the problem since every seller has to know the price of their good in a single currency. Of course, just like religion, money is an inter-subjective reality which only exists in our imaginations. And it does not have to be coins or notes. In Nazi concentration camps, cigarettes were a currency.

    The only requirement is that it should be easy to transport, store, and has a wide enough acceptance. Money is the most useful and efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.

    The original form of money like Barley had an intrinsic biological value as compared to marked gold and silver coins, where, no weighing was required to find the value. Then came sanctioned currency which had no intrinsic value, and then to electronic currency which had no physical existence. When we use money as a medium of exchange, we don’t trust each other; we trust money. When someone runs out of money, we run out of trust in them. Money as a source of universal convertibility and trust has replaced priceless things like honour, loyalty, morality, and love.

IMPERIAL VISIONS

    An empire is characterised by cultural diversity and territorial flexibility. All empires have engaged in the brutal slaughter and assimilation of people outside its borders to extend its territory. Slowly, the newly acquired population forgets what they stood for. For example, in 7th century AD, Arab empire crushed Egyptians with an iron fist, today Egyptians think of themselves as Arabs.

    One major change that happened over a period of time in the imperial vision was that empires changed their imagined reality from ‘we are conquering you for our benefit’ to more of humanistic stance. Persian king changed his philosophy from ‘Persian King’ to ‘everyone’s king.’ This was the first time in history, Sapiens were (pretending) to get rid of “us” vs “them” feeling.

    However, this macho approach of the conqueror continued to assume the inferiority of those who were conquered. That’s why M.K. Gandhi, a London-educated, qualified barrister was thrown out of a train meant only for whites.

    Almost, all imperial empires follow a similar paradigm. First, they conquer territories, then those territories adopt the new culture. This is when the people of these territories demand equal stature. This leads to friction.

    The next stage of human history will not involve biological and technological changes alone, but also changes in human consciousness and identity.    Many people think the question we should ask to guide our scientific pursuit is, ‘What do we want to become?’ As we seem to be on the path of genetic engineering and programming,

    In the past 1000 years, human beings have evolved to take over the world and are acting and behaving like gods. Yet, we still seem to be unhappy in many ways and we are unsure of what we want. How many young college graduates have taken demanding jobs in high-powered firms, vowing that they will work hard to earn money that will enable them to retire and pursue their real interests when they are thirty-five? But by the time they reach that age, they have large mortgages, children to school, houses in the suburbs that necessitate at least two cars per family, and a sense that life is not worth living without some good wine and expensive holidays abroad. What are they supposed to do, go back to digging up roots? No, they double their efforts and keep slaving for it.

    You can never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in heaven. One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and spawns new obligations.

    Anthropologist Christopher Robert Hallpike reviewed the book but did not find any “serious contribution to knowledge.”

    First published in Hebrew in 2011 and then in English in 2014, the book was translated into 45 languages (as of June 2017). It also made it to The New York Times best-seller list, and won the National Library of China’s Wenjin Book Award for the best book published in 2014. The Guardian listed the book as among the ten “best brainy books of the decade”. Bill Gates ranked Sapiens among his ten favorite books. I would give it eight out of ten, but it’s for a class of readers.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: GRAM SWARAJ by Mahatma Gandhi

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    This book was compiled by H.M.Vyas. He has taken the writings of Gandhi from various sources (but primarily from Harijan and Young India magazines) and has converted it into a useful handbook. Printed and published by Navajivan Publishing first in the year 1962.

    The book encapsulates the thoughts and ethos of Gandhi in the form of excerpts. Indeed Gandhi ji was an amazing thinker and a genius who had the blueprint of India ready even before she was born. The book diagrams the functioning of the smallest community unit of human habitat—that is the village and then sums it up for the nation. The book simplifies an average Indian’s life. It gives that margdarshan specifically to each Indian and perhaps even to all the citizens of the world.

    This publication contains Gandhi’s views on different aspects of rural life including agriculture, village industry, animal husbandry, transport, basic education, health and hygiene.

    For Gandhi Swaraj was a sacred word, a Vedic word, meaning self-rule and self-restraint, and not freedom from all restraint which ‘independence’ often means. As every country is fit to eat, drink and breathe, and so is every nation fit to manage its own affairs, no matter how badly.

    By Swaraj Gandhi meant government of India by the consent of the people as ascertained by the largest number of adult population, male or female, native-born or domiciled, who have contributed by manual labour to the service of the State and who have taken the trouble of having registered their names as voters. Real Swaraj will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few but by the acquisition of the capacity by all to resist authority when it is abused. In other words, Swaraj is to be obtained by educating the masses to a sense of their capacity to regulate and control authority.

    The book has 29 chapters and within that you have sub chapters: Let me briefly take you through the headings of the main chapters in brief as that itself will give you a comprehensive flavour of the book.

  1. Meaning of Swaraj: Swaraj can be maintained, only where, there is a majority of loyal patriotic people to whom the good of the nation is paramount and above all other considerations including personal profit. Swaraj means government by many. But where, the many are immoral or selfish, their government will only spell anarchy and nothing else.
  2. A picture of an ideal society: There will be neither paupers nor beggars, nor high nor low, neither millionaire employers nor half-starved employees, nor intoxicating drinks, or drugs. There will be the same respect for women as vouchsafed to men and the chastity and purity of men and women will be jealously guarded. Where, every woman except one’s wife, will be treated by men of all religions, as mother, sister or daughter according to her age. Where there will be no untouchability and where there will be equal respect for all faiths. They will be all proudly, joyously and voluntarily bread labourers.
  3. Which way lies hope: Industrialism on a mass scale will necessarily lead to passive or active exploitation of the villagers as the problems of competition and marketing come in. Therefore, we have to concentrate on the village being self-contained, manufacturing mainly for use. Provided this character of the industry is maintained, there would be no objection to villagers using even the modern machines and tools that they can make and can afford to use. Only they should not be used as a means of exploitation of others.
  4. Cities and villages: There are two schools of thought in the world. One wants to divide the world into cities and the other into villages. The village civilization and the city civilization are totally different things. One depends on machinery and industrialization, and the other on agriculture and handicrafts. We have given preference to the latter.
  5. Village Swaraj: To serve our villages is to establish Swaraj. Everything else is but an idle dream. If the village perishes India too will perish. It will be no more India. Her own mission in the world will get lost.
  6. Basic Principles of village Swaraj: According to me the economic constitution of India and for that matter of the world, should be such that no one under it should suffer from want of food and clothing. In other words everybody should be able to get sufficient work to enable him to make the two ends meet. And this ideal can be universally realized only if the means of production of the elementary necessaries of life remain in control of the masses. These should be freely available to all as God’s air and water ought to be. They should not be made a vehicle of traffic for the exploitation of others. Their monopolization by any country, nation or group of persons would be unjust. The neglect of this simple principle is the cause of the destitution that we witness today not only in this unhappy land but in other parts of the world too.
  7. Bread labour: The great nature has intended us to earn our bread in the sweat of our brow. Everyone, therefore, who idles away a single minute becomes to that extent a burden upon his neighbours, and to do so is to commit a breach of the very first lesson of Ahimsa. The divine law, that a man must earn his bread by labouring with his own hands, was first stressed by a Russian writer named T. M. Bondaref. Tolstoy advertised it and gave it wide publicity. In my view the same principle has been set forth in the third chapter of Gita, where we are told, that he who eats without offering sacrifice eats stolen food. Sacrifice here can only mean bread labour.
  8. Equality: My idea of a society is that while we all are born equal which means we have a right to equal opportunity, all do not have the same capacity. It is, in the nature of things, impossible. For instance, all cannot have the same height, or colour or degree of intelligence, etc.; therefore in the nature of things, some will have the ability to earn more and others less. People with talents will have more, and they will utilize their talents for this purpose. If they utilize their talents effectively, they will be performing the work of the State. Such people would exist as trustees, on no other terms. I would allow a man of intellect to earn more, I would not cramp his talent. But the bulk of his greater earnings must be used for the good of the State, just as the incomes of all earning sons of the father go to the common family fund.
  9. Theory of Trusteeship: Suppose I have earned a fair amount of wealth either by way of legacy, or by means of trade and industry, I must know that all that wealth does not belong to me, what belongs to me is the right to an honourable livelihood, no better than that enjoyed by millions of others. The rest of my wealth belongs to the community and must be used for the welfare of the community.
  10. Swadeshi: There is a verse in Bhagavad Gita that says, masses follow the classes. Even, concept of Swadeshi like any other good thing can collapse and die if it is made out to be a fetish. That is the danger that must be guarded against. To reject foreign manufactures, merely because they are foreign and to go on wasting national time and money in the promotion in one’s own country of manufactures for which it is not suited, would be a criminal folly and a negation of the Swadeshi spirit. Remember Swadeshi is not a cult of hatred. On the contrary a doctrine of selfless service that has its roots in the purest Ahimsa, i.e., love.
  11. Self-sufficiency and cooperation: Truth and non-violence form the foundation of the order of my conception. Our first duty is that we should not be a burden on society, i.e., we should be self-dependent. From this point of view self-sufficiency itself is a kind of service.
  12. Panchayat Raj—Gandhi writes about Panchayats in pre-independence days: Panchayat has an ancient flavour; it is a good word. It literally means an assembly of five elected by villagers. It represents the system, by which the innumerable village republics of India were governed. But the British Government, by its ruthlessly thorough method of revenue collection, almost destroyed these ancient republics, which could not stand the shock of this revenue collection. Congressmen are now making a crude attempt to revive the system by giving village elders civil and criminal jurisdiction.
  13. Nai Talim: was popularly and correctly described as education through handicrafts. This was part of the truth. The root of this new education went much deeper. It lay in the application of truth and love in every variety of human activity, whether in individual life or a corporate one.
  14. Chapters 14 to 18 are on Agriculture and cattle welfare and deals with various agriculture related issues of those times. Our villagers who are mostly Kisans depend on agriculture and cattle for ploughing. I am rather ignorant in this respect for I have no personal experience. But there is not a single village where we have no agriculture or cattle. Our workers will have to keep a careful eye on the cattle wealth of their village. If we cannot use this wealth properly, India will be doomed to disaster and with that we shall also perish. For these animals will then, as in the West, become an economic burden on us and we shall have no option before us except for killing them.

    The book deals with the problem of ownership of land: The Kisan is the salt of the earth which rightly belongs or should belong to him, and not to the absentee landlord or the Zamindar.

    The other important question for consideration… was whether cow farming should be in the hands of individuals or done collectively. I myself had no hesitation in saying that she could never be saved by individual farming. Her salvation, and with her that of buffalo, could only be brought about by collective endeavour. It is quite impossible for an individual farmer to look after the welfare of his cattle in his own home in a proper and scientific manner. Amongst other causes lack of collective effort has been the principal cause of the deterioration of the cow and hence of cattle/ in general. The world today is moving towards the ideal of collective or co-operative effort in every department of life.

    One potent way of increasing crop production is proper manuring. Artificial manures, I am told, are harmful to the soil. The compost manure emit no bad odour. It would save lakhs of rupees and also increase the fertility of the soil without exhausting it.

    Food Shortage in India is not unfamiliar with starvation and death of tens of thousands, if not millions, due to famine, natural or man-made. I claim that in a well-ordered society there should always be prearranged methods of successful treatment of scarcity of water and food crops.

  1. Khadi & spinning: Every family with a plot of land can grow cotton at least for family use. Cotton growing is an easy process. In Bihar farmers by law were compelled to grow indigo (a tropical plant of the pea family, which was formerly cultivated as a source of dark blue dye) in one of their cultivable land. This was in the interest of the foreign indigo planter. So, why cannot we grow cotton voluntarily for the nation on a certain portion of our land? Decentralization commences from the beginning of the Khadi processes. Today, cotton crop is centralized and has to be sent to distant parts of India. Before the war it used to be sent principally to Britain and Japan. It was and still is a cash crop and therefore, subject to fluctuations of the market. Under the Khadi scheme cotton growing becomes free from this uncertainty and gamble. The grower grows what he needs. The farmer needs to know that his first business is to grow for his own needs. When he does that, he will reduce the chance of a low market ruining him. A combination of home grown cotton and charkha.
  2. Other village industries: I recall a conversation I had with Fazalbhai in 1920 when I was on the eve of launching the movement of Swadeshi. He characteristically said to me, ‘If you, Congressmen, become advertising agents of ours, you will do no good to the country except to put a premium on our wares and to raise the prices of our manufactures. His argument was sound. But he was nonplussed when I informed him that I was to encourage hand-spun and hand-woven Khadi which had been woefully neglected and which needed to be revived if the starving and unemployed millions were to be served. But Khadi is not the only such struggling industry. I therefore suggest to you to direct your attention and effort to all the small-scale, minor, unorganized industries that are today in need of public support.
  3. Village transport—a plea for the village cart: “Animal power is not costlier than machine power in fields or short distance work and hence can compete with the latter in most cases. The present day tendency is towards discarding animal power in preference to machine power. If a farmer has his own cart and travels in it, he has not to spend anything in the form of ready money but uses the produce of his own field in producing power by feeding bullocks. Really grass and grain should be looked upon by the farmer as his petrol, and the cart the motor lorry, and bullocks as the engine converting grass into power. The machine will neither consume grass nor will it yield manure, an article of vast importance. Then the villager has to have his bullocks; where, in any case he has his grass. And if he has a cart, he is also maintaining the village carpenter and the blacksmith; and if he is keeping a cow, he is maintaining a hydrogenation plant converting vegetable oil into solid butter or ghee and also at the same time a bullock manufacturing machine—thus serving a twofold purpose.”
  4. CURRENCY, EXCHANGE AND TAX: Under my system, it is the labour which is the current coin, and not the metal. Any person who can use his labour has that coin, has wealth. He converts his labour into cloth, he converts his labour into grain. If he wants paraffin oil, which he cannot himself produce, he uses his surplus grain for getting the oil. It is this exchange of labour on a free, fair and equal terms—hence it is no robbery. You may object that this is a reversion to the primitive system of barter. But then is not all international trade based on the barter system?
  5. VILLAGE SANITATION: Divorce between intelligence and labour has resulted in criminal negligence of the villages. And so, instead of having graceful hamlets dotting the land, we have dung-heaps. The approach to, many villages, is not a refreshing experience. Often one would like to shut one’s eyes and stuff one’s nose; such is the surrounding dirt and offending smell. If the majority of Congressmen were derived from our villages, as they should be, they should be able to make our villages models of cleanliness in every sense of the word. But they have never considered it their duty to identify themselves with the villagers in their daily lives. A sense of national or social sanitation is not a virtue among us. While taking a bath, we do not mind dirtying the well or the tank or the river by whose side or in which we perform our ablutions. I regard this defect as a great vice which is responsible for the disgraceful state of our villages and the sacred banks of the sacred rivers and for the diseases that spring from insanitation.
  6. VILLAGE HEALTH AND HYGIENE: In a well-ordered society the citizens know and observe the laws of health and hygiene. It is established beyond doubt that ignorance and neglect of the laws of health and hygiene are responsible for the majority of diseases to which mankind is privy. The very high death rate among us is no doubt largely due to our gnawing poverty, but it could be mitigated if the people were properly educated about health and hygiene. “Mens sana in corpore sano” a Latin phrase is perhaps the first law for humanity. Which means “A healthy mind in a healthy body” is a self-evident truth. There is an inevitable connection between mind and body.
  7. Diet: Gandhi suggests a diet chart for men with sedentary habits as follows: Cow’s milk 2 lbs. Cereals (wheat, rice, bajra, in all) 6 oz. Vegetables leafy 3 oz, others 5 oz. Raw 1 oz. Ghee 1½ oz. Or Butter 2 oz. Gur or white sugar 1½ oz. Fresh fruit according to one’s own taste and purse. In any case it is good to take two sour limes a day. The juice should be squeezed and taken with vegetables or in water, cold or hot. All these weights are of raw stuff. I have not put down the amount of salt. It should be added afterwards according to taste. Now, how often should one eat? Many people take two meals a day. The general rule is to take three meals: breakfast early in the morning and before going out to work, dinner at midday and supper in the evening or later. So try it out.
  8. VILLAGE PROTECTION: Peace Brigade. Some time ago I suggested the formation of a Peace Brigade whose members would risk their lives in dealing with riots, especially communal. The idea was, that this Brigade should substitute the police and even the military. This reads ambitious. The achievement may prove impossible. Yet, if the Congress is to succeed in its non-violent struggle, it must develop the power to deal peacefully with such situations.
  9. THE VILLAGE WORKER: The centre of the village worker’s life will be the spinning wheel. The idea at the back of Khadi is, that it is an industry supplementary to agriculture and co-extensive with it. The spinning wheel cannot be said to have been established in its own proper place in our life, until we can banish idleness from our villages and make every village home a busy hive. The worker will not only be spinning regularly but will be working for his bread with the adze or the spade or the last, as the case may be. All his hours minus the eight hours of sleep and rest will be fully occupied with some work. He will have no time to waste. He will allow himself no laziness and allow others none. His life will be a constant lesson to his neighbours in ceaseless and joy-giving industry. Our compulsory or voluntary idleness has to go.

    In chapters 28 & 29 he has covered Government and the village and its links with Khaddar and India and the world.

    Overall it’s a great book just in case you want to know about Gandhi in a much more comprehensive manner. Even, when, the book was written way back one finds the central theme so very relevant for India even today. I’m convinced every Indian should read it.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS & QUOTES EPISODE-22

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Though William Shakespeare’s entire oeuvre –37 plays and 154 sonnets—is brimful with words of wisdom for every stage and situation of human existence, one of the most quoted aphorisms of his is, “Always the wrong person gives you the right lesson in life.” It may sound a bit contrary and even oxymoronic at first blush, but it’s pregnant with profound wisdom.

Purchasing power parity (PPP) is an economic theory that compares different countries’ currencies through a “basket of goods” approach. According to this concept, two currencies are in equilibrium or at par when a basket of goods (taking into account the exchange rate) is priced the same in both countries. Closely related to PPP is the law of one price (LOOP), which is an economic theory that predicts that after accounting for differences in interest rates and exchange rates, the cost of something in country X should be the same as that in country Y in real terms.

Kamala Devi Harris is the first person of Indian descent to post a credible candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination for US president. Daughter of an Indian cancer researcher and a Jamaican economics professor, for many Desi Americans she is proof that they have ‘arrived.’

Indians on an average do believe that things are getting better: 74% of them, according to a recent Ipsos-MORI poll. Indians are more optimistic than people in wealthy Western countries like those in Europe, North America and Oceania.

India has made significant improvements in reducing HIV infections—from 5.1 millions in 2003 to 2.1 millions in 2017—but it still has the world’s third largest HIV-infected population after South Africa and Nigeria.

India has the highest population of cattle in the world.

India is also the biggest milk producer in the world.

Indore is India’s cleanest city (winner of the Safaigiri Award of 2018).

Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction account for 45% of India’s GDP.

The global market in merchandise exports today is approximately $15 trillion. Share of India in these exports is only 1.6% compared with 12% that of China.

Nearly half of India’s farms are less than half hectare, a size too small to yield adequate living standard for a family of five—Arvind Panagariya.

I have never been to mars. What will we discover when we get there? A red landscape, quiet horizon and frozen glaciers? Probably all is as beautiful, in its own way, as the Earth was, thousands of years ago—MA YANSONG.

History is testimony that whenever the majority developed a sense of victim hood, it led to genocide of minorities.

Amongst the great man made places visible from outer space are the pyramids of Egypt, the Great-wall of China, and the Palm islands of Dubai. Now added to the list is the 600-foot figure of Sardar Patel—so tall, at dusk it casts a mile-long shadow over an enormous dry agriculture stretch. The base of the statue houses a research centre dedicated to good governance and agricultural development.

Donald trump is now arguably the most joked about US president on a parody-per-day basis.

Eckhart was once sitting alone under a grove of trees in a lonely place. A friend who was passing by went up to him and said, “I saw you sitting, lonely, and I thought I would keep you company.” Eckhart replied, “I was with myself, but you have come, and if anything, I am feeling lonely now.”

A key facet of water policy must be induction of technology to promote reuse. Recycling does take place in India but it’s nowhere close to the level needed. Elsewhere, recycling has moved to another level. Singapore recycles water for drinking.

Pre-monsoon rainfall from March to April has shown a 27% deficiency. Separately data put out by government shows that water levels in India’s major reservoirs and river basins have fallen to 21% of its average of the last decade.

Agriculture consumes most of India’s water resources.

In March 2019 the Baltic State of Estonia’s parliamentary elections saw almost half the votes cast through E-voting. That should be the vision of our future.

Nobel Prize in science are not given for R&D, they are given for fundamental discoveries.

Gagandeep Kang from Faridabad’s Transnational Health Science and Technology Institute is the first Indian woman to be made fellow of the Royal Society of London—now in the company of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin.

All told private investment alone remains the key to sustained growth.

Current Account Deficit is simply the (investment) – (savings) gap. Therefore if savings are higher than reported, the Current Account Deficit (CAD) will be lower.

Origin of GreenEyed Monster. The term greeneyed monster, meaning jealousy, first appears in Shakespeare’s Othello, when Iago says, “Oh, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the greeneyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”

The phrase luck of the Irish is commonly thought to mean “extreme good fortune.” … “During the gold and silver rush years in the second half of the 19th century, a number of the most famous and successful miners were of Irish and Irish American birth

INTERESTING LINES

The moment I realised God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence  before every human being and see God in him—that moment I am free from bondage, and I am free—Swami Vivekananda.

Rabindra Nath Tagore—‘The mind is without fear; and the head is held high; where knowledge is free; where the world has not been broken into fragments by narrow domestic walls.’

Brahminism or Brahminical are not to be understood as related to a community or caste called Brahmins as explained by Babasaheb Ambedkar himself.

Rauf Akhtar stated in his Taslees: Khud ko na kar itna majboor khud ko na kar paamal tu hi woh khuda hai jiski hai tujhe talash.

A commonly quoted aphorism says, ‘New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.’

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

Short story: The farmer and the crane

Copyright@shravancharitymission

cranefarmerfarmer

     Once, a diligent farmer was harassed by the birds when they started attacking his fields. The fields were located close to the nearby forests that happened to be the habitat of many such varieties of birds. The moment the farmer used to sow the seeds and cover it with sand. These pack of birds used to land there and consume the seeds from under the sand. The farmer had gone tired. Trying to keep these birds at bay and was having a harrowing time. Since a lot of these seeds were already eaten away by the birds it was making his farming uneconomical. At last, he had no alternative but to cultivate his land all over again and sow fresh seeds.

    But this time anticipating the same nuisance. He brought along with him a big net and laid the trap of the net over the entire field. Many birds as before came to pick the seeds but got trapped in the net. Along with the birds even one crane got stuck in the net.

    When the farmer started catching the birds in the net the crane implored—‘please have mercy on me. I have not put you to any loss nor have I eaten your seeds. I’m neither a hen, nor a sparrow nor any other seed consuming bird. I’m a crane. I only eat insects that are harmful for crops. Therefore please leave me.’

    Farmer was angry and in his anger he blurted—‘what you say is correct, but today you have been caught along with these birds that have eaten all my seeds. So you are also their friend. And, since you have come with them you too need to face the punishment along with them.’

    The moral of the story is: a person is known by the company he keeps. People who are good but stay with bad people are also subjected to punishment and disgrace. By accompanying the miscreant birds even dutiful crane got trapped and had to pay the price.

***

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

 

 

THE EXCELLENCE OF #INDIAN #AGRICULTURE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

New Doc 19_1 

    India has never been the cat’s whiskers in the world forum. Today, if one was asked to speak high about India on a world platform. Many would talk about its cultural diversity, growing economy, burgeoning and young talented population, IT, cricket team etc. etc.

    But no one would talk about Indian Agriculture. As its contribution to Indian GDP has dipped to a mere 14%. Even when 60% of the Indian population still depends on it.

    But there is another way of looking at Indian Agriculture, where it is the cat’s whisker in the world stage:

    “Indian farmers without the latest of agri technology, are able to feed over a billion people in the Indian sub-continent. And, if you get them the latest of agri technology they could even feed the world.”

    So let’s not fool the farmers. In fact we should give them the right place in the society. For, we can live without political parties and even survive with poor infrastructure. But we can’t survive without food.

    The enclosed article ‘Death of the Kisan’ by Saraika Ghose is well meant in this direction.

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

ARTICLE: LIVELIHOOD SECURITY IN RURAL INDIA – CHALLENGES

Copyright@shravan charity mission


    Livelihood is the means by which a person or household makes a decent living over a period of time. ‘Livelihood Security’ has been defined differently by various institutions, entities, and scholars. In a broad sense, it implies dignity, in a secure and just society. Being able to withstand stresses of death, disease, natural disasters or even economic slumps.

    It means adequate and sustainable access to income and resources to meet basic needs. Including adequate access to food, potable water, health facilities, educational opportunities, housing and time for community participation and social integration. As said by W. Somerset Maugham, ‘There is nothing so degrading as the constant anxiety about one’s means of livelihood.’

    Swaminathan (1991) has defined sustainable livelihood security as, ‘livelihood options that are ecologically secure, economically efficient and socially equitable in order to underscore three aspects- ecology, economics and equity.’

    In simple terms, job and income are the most critical components of ‘Livelihoods.’

CHALLENGES IN FRONT OF INDIA

    With 60% of India’s population employed in the agriculture sector, that contributes only 15% to India’s currently sulking GDP, challenges of livelihood security in India are getting more and more complex each day. Farm based jobs have remained stagnant due to structural changes in the Indian economy. The share of primary sector in GDP has progressively declined from 26% to 15% between 1998 and 2013. While, the share of the rural population, which was dependent on this sector, has reduced only marginally. This means India’s development models have to be robust enough to deliver dignity of life and sustainability of livelihoods at a scale. And in a pluralistic context that cannot be compared to any other country in the world.

FRAGMENTED LAND HOLDINGS

    India is a land of small farmers. According to Agri-Census 2000-01. Out of around 120 million total land households in the country, there are an estimated 98 million small and marginal holdings. The average size of small holdings is 1.4 ha which has squared down from 2.3 ha in 1971-72. The small holding character of Indian agriculture is much more prominent today than ever before. Though from efficiency point of view, small holdings are equal or better than large holdings. Poverty for small holding farmers is much higher than other farmers as small holdings do not raise enough agricultural income, so as to lift the marginal and small farm households above poverty level.

LOW LEVEL OF FORMAL EDUCATION:

    Education and skills are important for improving farming practices, investment and productivity. The low level of farmers’ education limits public dissemination of knowledge. The NSSO Farmers’ survey shows that awareness about bio-fertilizers, minimum support prices and WTO is associated with education levels.

    The literacy rate and mean years of education for unorganized farm workers is 53.4% compared to national average literacy of 74%.

FINANCIAL INCLUSION:

    Access to finance is critical for empowerment of rural communities. Though various initiatives have been taken by the Government and civil society organizations to mobilize the poor into self help groups (SHGs) and provide micro credit, much needs to be achieved. And as per the NSSO 59th round results:

  • 4% of farmer households are financially excluded from both formal and informal sources.
  • Overall, 73% of farmer households have no access to formal sources of credit.

GLOBALIZATION CHALLENGES:

    Increasing globalization has added to the problems faced by the small holding agriculture. The policies of huge subsidies and protection policies by developed countries have negative effects on small holding farmers in developing countries.

INSUFFICIENT CAPACITY BUILDING OF BENEFICIARIES:

    Out of the estimated 70 million rural below poverty line (BPL) households, 45 million households still need to be organized into SHGs. A significant number of these households are extremely vulnerable. In the absence of aggregate institutions for the poor, such as SHG federations, the poor households could not access higher order support services for productivity enhancement, marketing linkage, risk management among others. Most of the SHGs remain crowded in low productivity and primary sector activities.

POOR ABSORPTION OF TECHNOLOGY:

    ICT can play a significant role in taking best livelihood practices to the rural poor. However, absorption of technology remains poor in the countryside primarily due to lack of basic IT infrastructure, poor penetration of the internet and lack of awareness. Though mobile penetration has been robust, rural internet penetration has been estimated at just 6.7% in December 2013. There is a huge scope for open source software technology suitable for low resource settings especially for the under privileged communities.

WOMEN’S OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT OF LAND:

    There are 400 million women who constitute 33% of the total population of India as per Census of India 2011. Land, in a rural agrarian economy is the source of food security, income and credit power. On the other hand, Indian agriculture is being progressively feminized with women doing the bulk of work. While 63% of India’s rural male work force is engaged in agriculture, the figure is as high as 79% for women. Women are increasingly engaging in pre-production, production and post-production activities abandoning the taboo associated with women ploughing the fields. Average farm labour by women in rural production is 55-66% of the total labour.

    In contrast to the large proportion of farm labour contributed by women, only 9.3% of rural women actually own land. In most of the landless and semi-landless families, women and children suffer from acute poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy. 83% of women engaged in agriculture don’t own the land. Since women don’t own land, they are not recognized as ‘farmers’ in Indian agricultural policy even though they are working on it full time- thus labour on their own land.

    HUMAN RESOURCES:

There is extreme dearth of qualified professionals willing to work in livelihood programs. Though management graduates can develop competency to handle livelihood projects. They are generally wired towards running businesses rather than managing livelihood issues which are connected with heterogeneous stakeholders and participants. Therefore, a special thrust to entice skilled professionals to work in this field will be a key challenge for the Government.

    So, it still remains a big challenge for India to uplift the marginal rural poor.

*****

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

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Article: SMALL TRACTORS-POWER TILLERS- THE LIKELY TOTEMPOLE OF NEXT GREEN REVOLUTION OF INDIA

Copyright@shravancharitymission

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SULKING INDIAN AGRICULTURE

Agriculture remains the mainstay of India, even when it doesn’t contribute sufficiently to the Indian GDP. Around 65% of Indian population depends directly on agriculture when it only accounts for 22% of the GDP. But Indian agriculture now needs to undergo a paradigm shift to feed double the mouths since the last green revolution. Further, farm mechanization, agri-inputs, cropping patterns and seed varieties need to be refurbished to suit new agri challenges such as continuous soil erosion, depleting ground water levels, alarming farm labour situation and sparse market linkages. And this calls for a major overhaul on the production side of agriculture. To tackle issues such as, increase in farm produce and better farm economics, which brings us to the moot point of need based farm mechanization.

ISSUES AT HAND

India which is 17% of the world population. But it still cultivates with either the draught animals, which are inefficient and expensive to maintain or by high horsepower tractors owned by large farmers, which are few in numbers. So the daunting question is, when more than 80 percent of the Indian farmers are small and marginal why they are not in a position to purchase tractors below hp (horsepower) 22. Is it because of the government policies that are blocking the smooth transition from draught animals to small tractors and power tillers? and what is more baffling is:

  • Small farmers don’t have a requirement of large tractors. With the amount of land they hold a tractor of 25 hp engine or more is not needed in small and medium farm size. Especially, when statistics for power availability for various agricultural operations, which is an indicator of mechanization has increased from 0.3 kilowatt per hectare in 1971-72 to 1.4 kilowatt per hectare in 2003-04.
  • Even though government puts in subsidies on tractors, farmers don’t get their free will to choose, as large manufacturers step-in to sell their own brands at the behest of Government. So if we are talking of free markets why this nudging?

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HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Tractors in India were imported initially in 1960s mainly from the US and European countries, prime being the erstwhile Soviet Union. Since these countries historically had large holdings, these machines too were manufactured in the range of medium and high horsepower to suit their own land holding sizes.

Thus, started the of lasting culture of medium and high horsepower tractors in India. Even when our land holding size way back in 1960s was far less than the European and American standards and in the range of around 3 hectares.

This as a beginning was understandable but somewhere down the line a course correction was required, which didn’t happen. Presumably, because the entire technology was new, and we were devoid of the basic sense of change or even the skill to adapt. Small was not beautiful then. A similar trend we had in the auto sector where in you had those bulky fuel guzzlers. But then the auto industry caught the imagination of their customers which farm mechanization industry didn’t.

IMPORT AND MANUFACTURING HISTORY

In the year 1961-62, first time around 880 tractors were assembled from kits purchased from British and German firms. Imports stopped in 1977 but industry’s extended honeymoon with these manufacturers continued as hand holding was required to build sufficient production bandwidth. Although, India got independence in 1947 and the socialist leaning government’s five-year plans of 1950s and 1960s aggressively promoted farm mechanizations, our production of tractors was sluggish. But by late 1980s tractor production moved upwards to 140,000 units per year, yet the prevalence rate was just 2 tractors per 1,000 farmers.

ECONOMIC REFORMS AND FAO PERSPECTIVE

Post economic reforms in 1991, with the steady pace of change, the production of tractors increased to 270,000 units per annum. And in early 2000, India overtook the US as the world’s largest producer of four-wheel tractors. FAO estimated in 1999. Of the total agricultural area in India, less than 50% was under mechanized land preparation. Thereby, indicating large opportunities still existed, and projected this in favour of small machines. Steadily growing, India in 2013 produced 619,000 tractors accounting for 29% of world’s production. And, India currently has 16 domestic and 4 multinational corporations manufacturing tractors.

SOLITARY EFFORT OF 20 HP– Swaraj story:

India had approached the erstwhile Soviet Union in the mid 1960s for R&D and manufacturing support to develop a 20 hp tractor, but they refused. This project was later taken up by Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) under the council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

CMERI put together a team. They started by studying tractors of other makes that were in the market. Their first prototype was ready in May 1967 but when it was taken for trial it collapsed. Learning from the failure, they developed a second prototype, testing of which was done in October 1968, which proved satisfactory. Independent field trials later at other institutes were also successful. The tractor was called Swaraj. This Company was later promoted by Punjab State Industrial Corporation and turned out to be a blue chip company.

Besides Swaraj no other company tried to delve into 20 hp category for a long time. Until the solo effort was followed by a Delhi based company SAS Motors Ltd that has launched tractor in 15-24 hp category.

LAND HOLDING VS TRACTOR HORSEPOWER MISMATCH?

In 1960s the average land holding size was around 3 hectares (7.4 acres) and in 2010-11 it declined to 1.15ha (at an average level), which is below 3 acres on a more prevalent terminology. And, with these vital statistics, both growth and technological up gradation should have been in the low horse-power segment or in the power tiller segment. But that is clearly not the case. On the contrary both growth and technological up-gradation has been in the medium and high horsepower tractors, apparently because of foreign influence. Where, more likely the low horsepower range of tractors were discouraged because of low margins and high overheads of large manufacturing corporations and also the fatigue and capital cost of introducing a new genre.

For small and marginal farmers, low priced, small tractors of 15-24 hp was required. This generic need was highlighted as early as 1970 when (NCA )National Commission on Agriculture was set up.

At the turn of the century, India had around 2.67 million tractors, which was more than NCA projections. But category wise the number were skewed. As around 1.47 million tractors were in the 31-40 hp category, 0.65 million were in > 40 hp category and 0.68 million were in < 30 hp category. And only a part of 0.68 million tractors below 30 hp comprised of small tractors for which NCA had projected a figure of over 2 million. This large gap is surprising and reveals the callous approach of the government towards small farmers. One can perhaps safely derive that non availability made them go for higher hp tractors thereby spoiling their farm economics. And the quantity of power tillers sold was merely seventy thousand.

But then who was responsible for throwing NCA’s calculation, off balance? Well, no one can pin pointedly say who. But yes, to a certain extent the agricultural community as a whole, together with the Indian tractor industry, can be questioned on this. Instead of small tractors they came up with medium and heavy tractors, which benefited only the large farmers, and as a result tractors got concentrated only in a few states which benefitted from the green revolution such as Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh (See table: some benefit)

Some benefit
Tractor sales over the last five years
States Tractors sales during last five years Area under cultivation
(‘000 hectares)
UP 290,513 17,986
MP 144,049 22,111
Punjab 121,903 4,033
Rajasthan 95,450 20,971
Haryana 89,346 3,711
Gujarat 76,439 10,293
Bihar 72,467 10,743
AP 68,994 14,461
Maharashtra 66,876 20,925
Karnataka 43,163 12,322
Tamil Nadu 38,852 7,474
Orissa 14,473 5,296
Other states 65,210 15,181
Total 1,188,735 165,507
Sources: Economic Survey 2003-04 & Indian At A Glance 2004

We all agree mechanization is an unavoidable farming tool. For, productivity has to increase along with cost and economics, and that alone is sustainable in the long run. But looking at the perfunctory approach of the government, the big question would be whether farmers should go in for small tractors or still rely of animal power. It may therefore not be out of place to mention relevant statistics of animal power.

STATISTICS ON ANIMAL POWER

– India’s 83 million draught animals carry more than 5 times the freight and four times the passenger traffic carried by railways, in terms of originating traffic.

– Draught animal power contributes 30000 megawatt of power.

– It saves 24 million tonnes of diesel per year, worth more than Rs 33,000 crore.

– Draught animals cultivate about 65% of India’s total cultivable land area

– The present value of draught animals (Rs 50,000-1,00,000/pair) is Rs 2,07,500 crore even on a very conservative estimate.

– It would take 8.3 million tractors to replace draught animal power. This would cost Rs 32,490 crore; so then why is this segment not growing?

– Draught animals provide dung worth Rs 5,000 crore annually. Five million tonnes of firewood will be needed to substitute this.

The crisis around the farmer’s traditional tiller- the draught animal is continuously growing. Even though farmers still rely on draught animals their importance is being undermined by tractors.

According to an NCA report, man can provide a power equivalent to 0.07 hp, a woman 0.05 hp, a bullock/buffalo 0.40 hp, a camel 1 hp and a tractor at least 14 hp. In 1951, the farm power available was just 0.25 kilowatt per ha (KW/ha) of which 97 percent came from draught animals. This has now gone up by almost 6 times to 1.40 KW/ha and the corresponding increase in food grain by four times, and so an optimum, farm mechanization, is the need of the hour.

Farm mechanization is also important from the aspect that 65% of our cultivable area consists of dry farming or rain fed farming where the window of soil bed preparation is very small and if we are unable to do seedbed preparation and sowing in a timely manner, given the receding soil moisture, yields will drastically reduce.

However, 70% percent farmers still use draught animals where they can easily be upgraded to small farm mechanization tools. Such as small hp tractors or power tillers, but for this to happen; government policies should start focusing on the needs of the small farmer.

COMPARISON BETWEEN DRAUGHT ANIMALS AND TRACTOR

Draught animals and tractors are complementary sources of power on Indian farms, and will continue like that for many more years, to meet the ever burgeoning demand of power and of increased production and productivity. A report of 1987 says that a 35 hp tractor can prepare a seed-bed and sow 0.2 (ha) in one hour at Rs 270-300 per ha. Bullocks for the same operation require the entire day at Rs 300 per ha. The problem is draught animals have to be fed throughout the year but their optimal use is restricted to around three months in a year.

INDIAN AGRI DISCONNECT

  • Tractors in India are out of reach for the majority of the farmers. The cheapest being Rs 1.8 lakh almost as much as a new car.
  • Barely 2% of the 115 million farmers own a tractor according to the 1995-96 agriculture, census. Yet they cultivate almost 1/3rd of the countries arable land. This itself highlights the efficient toughness of farm mechanization.
  • Most farmers possessing tractors are rich and own large land holdings. Rate of ploughing is Rs 200-250/hr or Rs 2-2500/hectare
  • But small farmers are unable to reap such benefits. For them a low priced, small tractor of 15-24 HP would be ideal. This need was recognized as early as 1970 when the National Commission on Agriculture (NCA) was set up. After a 5 year study, NCA submitted a long report in 1976, which also recommended the type and quantity of tractors India should have by 2000: 2.08 million tractors and power tillers (a farm machine, with two wheels, to till the soil) below 15HP, 0.12 million medium tractors of 35 HP & 80,000 65 HP tractors, which taken together would total 2.28 million
  • This policy argued that 2.08 million tractors and power tillers below 15 hp were needed for small and medium farmers. Besides, they are also considered more suitable for paddy cultivation — the country’s dominant food grain crop — than medium (25-40 hp) and heavy (above 40 hp) tractors.

ALL TIME PANACEA FOR SULKING INDIAN AGRICULTURE IS FARM MECHANIZATION OF THE RIGHT KIND:

  • To graduate from animal tilling to mechanized tilling and that to by small tractors, power tillers and other economical high precision equipments commensurate with land holding size of small and medium farmers, keeping in mind their farm economics.
  • An option less farmer has to buy a 35 hp category tractor that costs around 5 lacs with bank loan at a high rate of interest, even if he doesn’t require this product. This should be substituted by small tractors or even power tillers.
  • GOI provides a subsidy of 25% limited up to 30,000 tractors. Wherein also, the farmer is cajoled to buy certain brands and this needs to stop forthwith, as user of the product should alone be the decider by any diktat of consumerism.
  • Tractors available in the range of 25-40 hp use advance western technologies, which may not be required for small holdings and this makes the product expensive. In fact what is needed is a below 25 hp tractor or a power tiller that is gender friendly and useful for ‘nuclear farming’ just as a nuclear family. The cost of such tractors will bring down the farmers cost by 50%. As against his investments and maintenance in a pair of bullocks, which requires to be fed and taken care of even when it is not generating any revenue, and also serves best only for a time span of 5-6 years.
  • Farmers need to come out of the clutches of debt to make agriculture more exploring, exciting, remunerative, and even status oriented. This can happen only if simple and cheap technologies are used in conjunction and proportion to their earnings. According to 59th survey by NSSO (January-December 2003) out of 89.35 million farmer households, 43.42 million (48.6%) were reported to be in debt. But in a similar survey in 1991 only showed 26% were in debt.

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ARTICLE: #FARM TO #FORK methodology- IN BIG TICKET #RETAIL

Copyright@shravancharitymission

bigrel

 

 

 

 

BY KAMLESH TRIPATHI- FORMER GENERAL MANAGER MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA LTD., HEAD OPERATIONS MAHINDRA SHUBH LABH SERVICES LTD., HEAD AGRI BUSINESS AND ENGINES. ESCORTS LTD., VICE PRESIDENT RELIANCE RETAIL (FREELANCE JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR)

STATE OF PLAY

How would you like if it was written behind the packet of wheat flour that you just bought, ‘The contents were grown in the farm of Nanak Ram near Saras town, district Sehore, Madhya Pradesh.’ This is ‘traceability’ in agri terms. Sounds like a distant dream. But then the ‘big dream’ of the big ticket ‘Indian Retail.’ Connect the farm-gate to the fork. But before we get into this let us have a flavor of how the current system operates. Indian farming traditionally has been hooked to the mechanics of Artheyas (Grain merchants) Artheyas were created to help farmers with their documents while selling their crops in the mandis. These documents included entry of grain receipts in mandi registers, raising sales invoices and also tax challans. As most of them were illiterates and did not know how to read or write. This created a lifelong bond between the Artheyas and the farmers. The Artheyas initially started as the humble ombudsman assisting the farmers but gradually transformed into strong ‘gaddis’ at the influential grain market. But at the same time the profile of farmers continued to be the same or even declined comparatively, as the number of small and marginal farm holdings only increased and profits dwindled.

Today, a farmer depends on the artheyas for crop finance and finance in case of crop failure. He also treats the artheya as an assured market for his crop. And also depends on him for certain exigency finance which he may require in terms of marriage, illness, festivals thus forging a strong bond. And as compared to banks, their documentation is simple and not cumbersome and so a big convenience. But artheyas don’t forget their pound of flesh; and finance at high rate of interest and in some cases even beyond 24% per annum, and this hits farmer profitability. Even for the grain that the farmer sells through the artheyas, he charges commissions which is the major reason for grain, vegetable and even fruit prices becoming more than double from the farm level. Government in recent times has started warehouse receipt system; a type of finance that is available by mortgaging crop but then it entails a series of documentation.

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FARM TO FORK GENESIS

When the big ticket retail entered India the whole value chain from farm-gate to fork was examined by them in detail. What they found was, if the artheyas were removed from the system, and if they could buy grains, vegetables and even fruits directly from the farmers, a substantial value could be unlocked, saved and this could be shared amongst the three stakeholders; the farmer, retailer and the consumer. And, a lot of ground research has been done in this spectrum since then.

WAY FORWARD AND HOW DOES IT WORK ON THE GROUND:

Most big retailers have aggregation or stock points that store merchandise, from where it is brought to the retail floor, basis guidelines of minimum and daily stocking level. Some even have cold chains and reefer trucks for fruit and vegetable movement. Farmers who grow vegetables in the surrounding areas come with their seasonal vegetables and off load their stocks in these stock points basis number of plucking. These stocks are then sorted and graded for pricing by the company on a mutually agreed basis, after which it is taken in stock and payments are made once a week or in a fortnight to these regular suppliers. In case of onions and potatoes which have specific areas of production and limited season, such purchases may be made through one big farmer or a consortium of farmers or at times an agent who deals in these veggies. Fruits are more seasonal and the companies buy directly from orchard owners. Like apples are supplied by orchard owners from Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, mangoes could be from Malihabad near Lucknow . Farm gate purchase for grains is more tedious and cumbersome and still continues in a big way through the mandis, because of the government policies. Even the cropping regions are quite diverse; like Basmati paddy is grown in Punjab and Haryana, as an example. Some states have also tried contract farming where farmers are first registered before the cropping season. A particular variety of seed is given to them and package of practice is explained, and when the crop is harvested the Company lifts the entire crop. Fritolay the potato chips company has done contract farming for potatoes in Ranjangaon area near Pune and Punjab Agro has taken up a huge contract farming initiative of Basmati paddy in Punjab.

ADVANTAGES VS DISADVANTAGES

Farm to fork- is model of agriculture that has come to stay and has the following advantages and disadvantages:

• Increased Profitability: It gives greater profitability and earnings to small and marginal farmers which are growing in number.

• Expert advice on crops are available such as drip irrigation, optimum use of pesticides, new cropping patterns, crop diversification and fertilizer usage, to name a few; from international crop experts associated through big retailers.

• Ready market, even before the crop is ready.

• Traceability of crop

• There is a possible danger of the buyer reneging in which case the farmer will have to look for a new buyer within a short span of time to sell his crop.

• It may not have any government support price.

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