Some farmers have become examples for their community because of their refusal to burn the stubble. Kuldeep Singh is one such farmer. He comes from a long line of landlords and owns around 200 acres of land across Punjab. He told me he hasn’t burnt paddy stubble since 2003 because his conscience won’t allow it. The Punjab government offers subsidies to farmers on equipment to dispose of the straw without burning it. A mulcher that mows the stubble, a rotavator that mixes it with the soil and a Happy Seeder cuts the stubble and simultaneously sows wheat seeds. But even for a prosperous farmer like Kuldeep Singh, it wasn’t easy to spare lakhs for all that equipment. And the Punjab government subsidy, he says, is a smokescreen. For his efforts, Kuldeep has been honored by the district administration. But all these honors, he says, are worthless.