Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts

A Photo Report on Bengaluru Seed Festival, September 28-29, 2013

Imagining life without seeds is practically impossible. Thus, it is very important to study and know about seeds in depth and save the seed diversity. The seed forms the basic input/ lifeline of the Agriculture.  As the world progressed, population increased enormously, due to which there has been a constant pressure on  developing high yielding, productive and efficient seeds. The continuous usage of such hybrid variety seeds has resulted in rapid erosion of bio-diversity of our country. Fortunately, a small fraternity of farmers  have preserved and re-used their diverse indigenous seed varieties over generations. Kudos to these farming communities for having contributed in maintaining and developing our agricultural heritage and diversity.  Not many of us are aware that India has one of the richest germplasm collections in the world.  India can also boast of being home to more than 60,000 rice accessions of the 425,000 accessions of the world.
Bangalore Seed Festival
Welcome To Seed Festival 
Celebrating the Rich Heritage of Traditional Seed Diversity
 In this regard, Sahaja Samrudha, in collaboration with Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) had organized the Bengaluru Seed Festival during the last weekend at Veterinary College, Hebbal, Bengaluru to “celebrate the rich heritage of traditional seed diversity”. Many seed saver groups from various parts of the country, working for on-farm conservation and promotion of seed diversity participated actively. There were more than 1000 varieties of different crop seeds on display along with relevant literature. All the stalls were quite informative. A few stalls stood apart by displaying unique products. Bio-diversity Management of Edavaka grama of Wayanad, Kerala displayed about 30 varieties of tubers (that grow underground), Vagadhara of Rajasthan displayed a variety of medicinal  shoots and tubers while another stall displayed rich varieties of forest tree seeds.
Paddy Varieties
Different Rice Varieties of Karnataka
Black Rice 
Wild Wheat
Wild Wheat 

Different Varieties of Bajra and Maize 
Hot and Spicy from Meghalaya
Varieties of Millets 
Medicinal Tubers and Shoots from Rajasthan
Varieties of Tubers from Kerala 
Collection of Forest Tree Seeds 
Why is such an effort significant and how will it influence the future? A classical example of saving indigenous seed varieties and developing better ones in the same line is that of Late Mr. Lakshmanaiah, popularly known as “Ragi Lakshmanaiah/ Ragi Brahma”. As a student, I was fortunate enough for having studied and learned about this great man, who single handedly worked and developed the best and the highest yielding variety of Ragi (Finger Millet) named INDAF series, using various indigenous varieties of Ragi. Indaf series, unlike today’s Hybrid and GM varieties, is one of those rare varieties, which possesses all the properties of indigenous ones, apart from having the advantage of being very high yielding and reusable. During 1950s, Mr.Lakshmanaiah quit the coveted job of a clerk in the Indian railways in order to pursue his passion for agriculture. The rest is history though unknown to the outside world. Today, Indaf is the most popular Ragi variety grown across the driest regions of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where Ragi is the staple food. Many such varieties have been developed but have lost the race with time against today’s Hybrid and GM varieties, leading to a total imbalance in the eco-system by appreciating indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Accessories made out of Seeds
Our Field, Our Seed, Our Right  
Effects of  Organic and Chemical Farming 
The exhibition aimed at educating people, especially those linked with or involved in the field of agriculture, towards bigger steps of using, reusing and preserving the indigenous seed varieties. The seed exhibition in total was an educative one and managed to attract a heterogeneous crowd.

  Participants:
1.       Sahaja Organics; Web:www.sahajaorganics.com, Ph: 080-26612315, 7483088144, 080-26661420
2.       Sahaja Samrudha; Web: www.sahajasamrudha.org  Ph: 8050743047,9880862058
3.       Sri Masanasiddeshwar Savayava Krishikar Sangh, Munnahalli, Gulbarga Ph: 9972157413
4.       Desi Krishikar Balaga, Haveri, Ph: 9845890411, 9980679824
5.       Hasiru Consultants and Mkt Pvt Ltd.,  Ph: 9591984709
6.       Desi Uthana; Web: www.uthana.com,  Ph: 9341415399, 7760596275
7.       Bio-Diversity Management Committee , Edavaka, Wayanad, Kerala
8.       Agricultural Training Centre, Fulia, Nadia, West Bengal
9.       Vanastree; Web: www.vanastree.org
10.   Organic farming society, Auroville, Pondicherry; Web: www.auroville.org

References:
1.       KannadaWikipedia
2.       The Hindu article


Hampi Unseen -II



An obvious question that runs in any travelers mind about Hampi is the actual time required to explore Hampi in total. Most people, depending upon the period of vacation, number of places to be covered, purpose of visit, etc., decide the duration of travel which may vary from a few days to months. An elderly friend of ours was quite curious to know if we had explored Hampi completely and when he questioned us about the same, we replied with a smile and nodded our heads in a way that meant we hadn’t, and also affirmed him of doing it shortly.
Long time back, we had read about one, Mr. Robert in a newspaper which stated about him as follows, “He quit his job in Dutch and came to India, traveled many places and finally settled at Hampi. He has been a resident of Hampi and has been painting ever since”. Our search for him began when we stepped into Hampi. Having met him, seen the paintings and interacted with him about his passion for paintings about Hampi, we can say for sure that they truly are a reflection of the grandeur of Hampi and the life style of Lambani tradition. It is quite intriguing to know that Hampi has kept him motivated for a long period of 35 years and is still on. He says with pride that Hampi always has something new to offer him each day. Kudos to you from all of us Mr.Robert! After meeting Mr. Robert, it seems like Hampi is an ocean and any amount of exploration is just a drop in the ocean!
Robert's Workshop
Mr. Robert


Saalumarada Thimmakka and the Banyan Alley

     As we approached the village of Kudur (Magadi taluk), we came across a long stretch of road having Banyan trees on either side. Planted in straight lines and at regular intervals, the trees were tall and dense, forming a natural canopy. A long countryside road stretch and the Banyan alley, what a beautiful sight it was! (Reminded us of John Denver's "Take me Home, Country Roads"). At that point in time, it flashed to us that we had read about a lady who had planted around three hundred banyan trees in her village surroundings. Little did we know that  we were talking about and witnessing trees planted by the same lady, Thimmakka. 
    'Thimmakka', popularly known as 'Saalumarada Thimmakka' (Saalumara, in Kannada means trees planted in a line/row, Translation:Saalu-line/row;Mara-tree), is a name synonymous to Afforestation. She and her husband have played a vital role in planting and nurturing banyan trees, along the 4 km stretch of road, starting from the village of Hulikal up to Kudur. For them, the trees were, and will remain their children. A lot of love and care has been bestowed in nurturing these banyan trees. The beautiful stretch of road we see today can only be attributed to their endless love, effort and unselfish labor towards saving these trees and our environment. The trees are protected by the Govt.of Karnataka. Thimmakka has received a lot of appreciation and awards for her work and stands as an inspiration to all of us. In honor of Thimmaka, an environmental organization carrying her name has also been set up in California (USA) with a motto of saving environment. Kudos to the lady and her husband.
The Banyan Alley
The Green Canopy
Further Reading:

1. Wikipedia
2. Facebook
3. Godnewsindia