|The busy stall – lots of buyers|
By Amrita Bhoomi
17 Jan: Amrita Bhoomi had a first taste of success at direct marketing during the Bahuroopi, international theatre festival in Mysore. Film stars, theatre geniuses, and fans from across the world gathered here to enjoy the magical world of theatre. Amrita Bhoomi had the honour to set up a small stall to promote its work and chemical free produce.
Tireless volunteers had worked hard for days, processing, packaging, and labeling all the chemical-free goodies produced at our farms. On the menú was millets, dry bananas, jaggery, millet laddoos, and amaranthus– produced by Amrita Bhoomi’s neighbours – the Soliga indigenous people.
To their surprise and much excitement, sales boomed and they almost sold out. “We need to rebuild solidarity between the rural and the urban people, we both depend on each other, and we must honor that responsibility. Urban folk have a great role to play in promoting chemical-free and socially just food.” Said ChukkiNanjundaswamy of Amrita Bhoomi.
|News paper story about Amrita Bhoomi’s amaranthus sales|
These words remind us of the great Indian artist, thinker, and Nobel Prize winning poet Rabindranath Tagore, who in his influential essay- the City and Village, contemplated the relationship between the city and the village – how must these two relate to each other? What happened to the spirit of unity that existed between the two?
90 years later today, it is obvious that one is nearly a parasite upon the other. The village chokes, and farmers commit suicide, while the city extracts away. But, looking beyond the gloom, Tagore also inspireshope. One of his key lessons was that with wealth comes great moral responsibility, as well as the need for some self sacrifice for the greater good and justice.
Urban consumers today can play a stronger role in supporting India’s countryside. Direct marketing is one key avenue to support rural families.
|Amritabhoomi volunteers at work|
“We welcome urban people to come and volunteer with us, have interactions with farmers organizations, and support us in our vision of dignity for rural people,” said Naveen, a youth farmer.