Pesticides and Plough over Shoulders, Himachal Farmer Marches to State Capital
Layak Ram wants the nation to hear and address lingering problems in the Indian agriculture sector
From his village Sai in Nalagarh tehsil of Solan district of Himachal, a farmer has begun a foot march to the state’s capital Shimla in hopes to meet the chief minister. The farmer, Layak Ram, is walking to Shimla with a plough over his shoulder, the national flag in one hand and pesticides hanging like a garland around his neck. Layak Ram says that Indian farmer works to the bone, regardless of the weather, and is still debt-ridden while the government pays no attention to the issue posed by weather-dependent agriculture.
He has started a campaign called “Kissan bachao, desh bachao,” which means “Save the farmer, save the nation.” After starting his journey from Baddi on Monday, Layak Ram will march to Shimla on foot to meet the chief minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu in Shimla. Thereafter, he will go to Delhi. The motive behind this campaign is to wake up the nation to face the plight of the farmers.
Ram said that regardless of scorching heat, chilling cold, fog or heavy rain, farmers work hard to grow crops, fruits, and other eatables. Oftentimes, farmers take loans to grow crops but natural disasters ruin their crops, making it incredibly difficult to fill the bellies of their own families, let alone pay the debt. MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary also said that he will bring forth the problems of farmers in front of the chief minister, who hopefully will help.
Indians have always referred to their agriculture sector as the backbone of the country, yet the plight of the farmer is heartbreaking. As most of the sector depends on the weather for crop yields, the changing climate has wreaked havoc throughout the Southeast Asian nation.
Rising temperatures, shifting rainfall, flash floods and drought conditions force thousands of farmers every year to take their own lives due to crop failure or bone-crushing debts. In Maharashtra alone, 725 farmers died by suicide in 2022, while this number was 662 in 2021, a report by Times of India stated.
The state and the country by extension must focus on addressing this issue with urgency. If the agriculture sector doesn’t improve some of its techniques and help farmers, the economy and human capital will be affected badly, potentially leading to a rise in hunger and poverty.
Via: Amar Ujala