Another Pongal. Another Makara Sankaranthi.
Most of us non-Farmers would have celebrated the day extolling the various elements and partaking of sweets/ savouries. But not all members of the community that we traditionally owe these celebrations to, may be joining in, with equal enthusiasm.
The contribution of Agriculture to India’s rising GDP is decreasing. About 50% of India’s population is financially dependent on a sector which is contributing to less then 20% of India’s GDP. As the Indian Economy increasingly matures and makes the GDP, even more Services/ Manufacturing driven, we will have more farmers grappling to make do with lesser. We need to have Policies (viable ones, beyond loan waivers) and Practices (currently driven by the chemicals/ fertilizer lobby) that will make it easier for the subsistence farmer.
May more of us realize that the Farmer Feeds Us and it is time we spent quality time figuring out, how to help them. Besides the ethical aspect, it is not hard to understand that unless the vulnerable Farmers start seeing better returns, we have no food on the table. May the coming Pongals and Makara Sankarathis bring more cheer for the humble farmer! As the largely forgotten Lal Bahadur Shastri said, “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”!