Activists Promoting Desi Cotton Seeds For 'Eco-friendly' Rakhis
Supported by the Nagpur Beejotsav Group and Gram Art, a group of local artists/musicians from village Paradsinga in Chhindwara are helping poor farmers especially through promotion of organic farming and preservation of traditional seeds.
Representative image. (AFP)
Chhindwara: A group of young artists have been turning desi cotton seeds from the villages of Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh and nearby Maharashtra into 'eco-friendly' rakhis.
Supported by the Nagpur Beejotsav Group and Gram Art, a group of local artists/musicians from village Paradsinga in Chhindwara are helping poor farmers especially through promotion of organic farming and preservation of traditional seeds. They have has taken up the task of making eco-friendly rakhis.
“It’s not our sisters who need protection, but also our mother earth. It is us, humans, who need to do it, because it is us from whom she has to be protected,” Shweta Bhattad, one of the volunteers, said.
“Right from the fields of indigenous cotton, to the spinners and to the women in different villages converting every naturally dyed thread into a unique seed band, all are playing their part in protecting the earth and thereby protecting ourselves,” she added.
According to her, buying these rakhis will encourage indigenous cotton growers to stay away from poisonous genetically modified seeds.
The volunteers also help out farmers by sourcing cotton seeds directly at a premium on MSP.
“Last year we paid Rs 5000/quintal and this year Rs 6,000 a quintal to farmers for sourcing cotton seeds for the project and this was more than the MSP,” Gram Art volunteer Tanmay said.
These young volunteers also organised Beejotsav in Chhindwara and let farmers exchange their traditional knowledge and their traditional seeds as well.
Based on their discussions with an organisation in the national capital, these volunteers said that their unique rakhis would be available shortly in New Delhi as well.
With the sustained efforts from the group, two farmers already have shunned hybrid seeds and started cotton farming with desi seeds in village Paradsinga. Last year, these artists, with the help of local famers, had grown vegetables organically on 7200 sq feet.
“We are not any NGO, company or any organisation, using our art, we just wanted to bring about little changes in the lives of locals in day-to-day life with small endeavours,” Bhattad said.
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