Gadchiroli May 8 (District Correspondent) ‘Natural resources available in the area can be used for the economic prosperity of the local people by giving them necessary training and this task is not so difficult. People in rural and tribal areas can do it easily and show the miracles if they are properly guided and made to work on the ground’.
This was opined by the noted tribal leader and former MLA Hiramanji Warkhede while talking to The Hitavada. Mr. Warkehede who lives in his small village Mendhatola in Dhanora taluka was in Gadchiroli to attend a review meeting of the Adiwasi Mahila Sahitya Sammelan at Vikas Bhavan.
Making his ideas clear, Warkehede told that it is the universal truth that the one who has science, manpower and technology with him gains the power. The rural people have a tremendous manpower and a will to work. Many of them have the traditional knowledge also which they have been using in agriculture and other related issues for the years together. If this knowledge is enhanced by the proper scientific approach, training and technology, the same manpower can show the wonders in agriculture, forest and can bring over the financial revolution, he claimed. This financial strength can also bring them power, he pointed out.
Gram Sabhas can do this effectively as they are efficient and its members are hardworking, Warkhede said. He referred to the well-known Chinese poem- ‘Go to the people, live among them, learn from them, begin upon what they know and build up on what they have’. This experiment can really work in the gram sabhas, he pointed out.
In the year 1972, the silver jubilee of Indian independence, a mother of a new born child was to earn her livelihood along with her child as it was a time of severe famine. It is unfortunate that even after 75 years of independence, people have to leave their houses and go to other places in search of jobs to fill in their stomach leaving their kids at home with the old ones. The situation has not changed. Have we attained the Independenece for this, he asked and said this can be stopped if we provide the agriculture and forest-based works in the villages itself.
Mr. Warkehed, who was also elected as the Chairman of Panchayat Samiti and vice President of the DCC Bank said that the people from 70 gram sabhas collected a cash of Rs. one lakh and around a quintal of rice just in a couple of days by contributing just a small amount of money and rice from every house. This is the strength of the gram sabha unity, he told. We need to carry on this experiment for the community development, he added. We have to work with the people and seek their involvement in growing crops and other forest production, Warkhede, who himself is a post graduate in Agriculture, added.
More than 5 lakhs farmers have committed suicide in the last 30 years because of financial hardships owing to crop loss. This tragedy can be stopped, he claimed. The modern schools and colleges have no human sensitivity. They have become mere factories of producing degree holders. The education institutions have become virtually outdated. The graduated youths don’t have the practical knowledge to work in the fields or forests. If the younger generation and the farmers are given the practical of farming, they can overcome the financial crisis and contribute to the nation besides their own economic well -being, Warkhede stated.
According to Swaminathan commission, per quintal cost of production of paddy is Rs. 7,970 but the farmers are being given only Rs. 2,000 per quintal. This means the government is snatching away around Rs. 6,000 per quintal from the farmers. If a farmer grows 15 quintals of paddy in 1 acre, an amount of Rs. 90,000 are stolen from him. A farmer with 10 acres of land thus loses Rs. 9 lakhs as per this calculation, Warkhede told adding that this is a loot of the farmers.
This system of the govt. is forcing the farmers to commit suicide. ‘Research with the people with the modern technology and government with the people with equity share’ is the new mantra given by Mr. Warkehede which he claims would be quite useful for the entire society and the country besides the farmers.
Seeing the British model, Gandhiji used to say that the science is in the hands of industrialists and the govt. becomes the exploiter. Give the science in the hands of people and they will prosper. We need to empower the people with the technology and results will come, he opined on the basis of his own experiment in agriculture.