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Rains and Farmer’s of Andhra Pradesh
Vasu Reddy from Chicago
I deviated from my normal writing interests for a week to do unplanned writing at ATA and I am happy to come back to something close to heart. With this article I am trying to find a happy medium as a person and associate my empathy to my farming roots. I will support and promote any causes to help identify resources to help any cause that might help my brethren. CLICK HERE FOR CHICAGO FARMER BENEFIT SHOWS
When I was a child it seemed that when the rains came, I was happy. When the rains came it smelled nice. When the rains came the streets looked clean, and the trees greener, flowers smelled nicer. As a child it was fun playing in the rain. Believe me I can still make the paper boats that can float a mile down stream from my home. When it rained it was fun. As I got older rain became a symbol romance. Many a romantic in all languages have worshipped the rain. I love rain now as much as I did as a child, perhaps more.
The plight of the farmer is a serious issue that concerns the very backbone of our families in AP and in India. I am the oldest from a farming family. Our lands probably have been in my family many generations. I hope they will continue to be ours for many generations to come. When I read of the disturbing stories that describe the plight of farmers and I feel the need to find solutions to help.
I also know that the romance of rain is real to people, it is equally romantic to the farmer. Much has been written of the impact of timely monsoon in India (and around the world) for centuries. Much has been written of the ability of human civilizations to build irrigation projects that are of great value to human development. Indian politicians have said much since 1947 on harnessing the abundant river water and planning for saving monsoon rains. Much has been said to get people’s votes and many promises made to help the farmer in growing sustenance (I am being careful not to say my vote as I may not have a vote in India). As we all know, the farmer is a loyal servant of the land. Farmer is eternally bound to the land that belongs to the family. Farmer also is an optimist in believing that rains will come on time, and rain will be abundant to make his land fertile. Every year, year after year we have great expectations of a great crop.
I have never followed the monsoon season in AP while living in India or in the USA. The irony is that the law of averages makes it difficult for precise timing in the life cycle of the monsoon, and thus the enormous burden of feeding the great population. I am not even going to touch the issue of too many people in this column, as we are already here and let us find a way to have a good life.
Indian politicians have tried to build bridges, dams, canals and reservoirs. Indian politicians have tried to pacify the farmers with subsidy’s which essentially are entitlements for bad planning, provide poor quality seeds, not enough fertilizers at good prices and utilities that are necessary to support the farmers. Talking about the current administration in AP, the free power scheme is a limited option to help temporary problem that can become permanent if not addressed. I did write prior to the election on liking the idea of free power to the farmers, while realizing that free anything is not good. My pride will not allow me to accept things for free. Success comes with hard work, and no one works harder that the farmers of AP. So, I am OK with relief to the farmers but free power on a permanent basis may not really be free. Neither AP nor India is in any position to provide free utilities, and if they do we will probably turn into one of the socialistic societies that have failed through out the last century. Farmers need proper planning and programs to promote sustainability and not free power.
Another issue that is now plaguing our farmer’s homes is suicide and the rate of suicides in the farmer families in AP. If I am to believe in the published statistics, it is a shame my farmer brother are forced to such desperation. For god-fearing people, suicide is the last option in desperation. Farmers are the backbone of AP and if they are simply unable to feed themselves, our society has simply failed to govern itself to sustainability.
I am hoping that our government is capable of taking aggressive and progressive steps to finish the irrigation projects. I am hoping that the government will communicate plans that make sense to the farmers, and deliver to them. I am hoping that the farmer’s love for their land will keep them alive to get the benefits of the rain and improved government planning. I hope that the farmer will realize that death is permanent. I am praying that the rain god will listen to my farmer friends (and me) and be kind with consistent rain and beautiful rainbows in every acre of land in AP.
As I write this I am unsure how a master plan can be devised to help the farmer, but the efforts must be made to do quick rethinking of failed polices. Individuals and organizations can make positive contributions to help in focusing the efforts to help the farmers. I am not sure how AP can devise measures to eliminate the basic difficulties of the farmers, but a continued and consistent effort to keep the farmer in forefront will allow for sustainable solutions. The land, the rains and the farmers have been around for a long time and will be around for a long time to come. Perhaps each one of us by simply wishing the farmer well, perhaps each one of us by simply promoting the farmers cause, and perhaps by us communicating our empathy to the farmer in every open forum, will give our families comfort until we find the solutions.
I wish that the current government, future governments and people in position of power will be relentless in abolishing policies that hurt the farmers, and finish the planned development of irrigation. I wish our systems became competitive for normal farmer to survive and continue farming. I wish for god to rain on time every year and in abundant quantities. I wish for our land to be fertile and provide to the needs of its dependents. I also wish each one of us try to lend an ear or a shoulder or express our empathy to all our farmers.
I still feel romantic about rain, as it seems that this is a great monsoon season for AP. I am in love with the rain. I want to romance in the fields full of crops, and the flowers full of bloom. I want to be a farmer who needs no help with paying for electricity, or ask for support. I want to be self-sufficient. I want to be proud of my land and being a farmer. I want to romance in the rain until I pass the land on to the next generation.
Opinions expressed are my own, but I am hoping everyone in the driving distance will come to the Chicago shows this weekend.
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