I think the farmer plays the same role for our country as the backbone plays for the human body.The problem is that this backbone (our farmer) is suffering from many problems. Sometimes, many of them can’t even afford two square meals a day. Despite all the hardships which they face, they continue to play an important role. Some of them are discussed below.
Before late 1970s India was not able to produce sufficient food grains to meet its requirements. In other words, India was not self-sufficient in terms of food grains. We used to import large quantities of food grains from abroad (mainly from USA). It went good for some time but afterwards the USA started blackmailing us on trade.
They even threatened to stop the supply of food grains totally. The then Prime Minister Lal bahadur Shastri accepted the challenge and gave the slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” and took some drastic measures, which resulted in the green revolution and because of that we became self-reliant in terms of food grains and even started exporting the surplus produces.
India has never looked back since then.Our farmers have never let us down, even though they are facing many problems.They have been able to meet the demand of the growing population.
Farmers contribute around 17% to the Indian economy. Even after that they continue to live a life of poverty. There are many reasons for it. If we are able to overcome various obstacles, then there is a good chance that this percentage will improve.
Farmers do not depend on any other source for employment. They are self-employed and also create employment for others.
One fine day I told my dad, “What a nice life these village folks have”. On this my dad laughed loudly and suggested me to visit our ancestral village which is in Lucknow. Last time when I went to our village, I was 4 years old. I remembered very few details from my last visit or better to say I had no idea what a village looked like.
I took a week’s leave from office and boarded the train with my father. I was really very excited. At the railway station we were greeted by our relative (my cousin brother) who had come to receive us. I asked him, “How we will go home”? On this, he showed his bullock cart. On this my reaction was, “What!” My dad told me, “Sweety, this is just the beginning.”
On reaching home firstly, I decided to answer my natures call. So, I asked, “Where is the toilet”? On this I was took to an open field. I was told that there is no toilet in the village and all the villagers including women have to go in the open field. After that I decided to have a look around. I found broken houses made with mud and bamboo with men and women in old and torn clothes (definitely not designer), working very hard in fields to get their ends meet.
A used plow and a pair of feeble bullock stands in every house as a testimony to the strenuous life of the occupants.Maximum houses had no electricity connection and even those houses which had electricity connection used oil lamps because electricity was rare. Nobody had a gas connection, so food was cooked on wooden or coal fire which generated smoke and that caused various lung diseases.
The plight of the Indian farmers is unimaginable as they work tirelessly throughout the year in the absence of basic necessities. I found some other farmers arguing with some men. I was told that they were bank officials and had come to give a formal notice (of non-payment of EMIs) to the farmers. My cousin brother told me that nobody in the village was able to pay EMIs this time as they had a bad crop this time.
We have come a long way since Independence but still a lot has to be done. I am sure, if we work sincerely, we would be able to overcome the problems which we are facing today and God willing our villages will become as beautiful and prosperous as they are shown in Bollywood movies.