Archive for January, 2010

Her name is Dhanabai. The name literally means a woman of wealth. Perhaps, the wealth she has cannot be measured by money. She certainly has some unseen wealth and she has the smiles to show that she is indeed happy with the wealth. She stands outside her hut having just gathered the wheat grains that she had kept out for drying in the sun. Most of the grains are insect infested and rotten but she may be able to find some of the grains suitable enough to eat for the week.

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Cattle market in Solapur

A busy cattle market in Solapur district of south Maharashtra in central India. Hope these indigenous cattle remain.

Copenhagen – everything but the small farmer.

Quote from a friend’s email about happenings in Copenhagen –

Two weeks ago, huddled in a warm room of a community complex as temperatures hovered around -3 degrees Celsius in the freezing Copenhagen, were a group of animated people from Africa, Asia and Latin America with a sprinkling of Europeans. Everyone was discussing what should be the text of a defiant draft to be sent to the negotiators inside the Bella Centre, the official conference venue where the big and the powerful of the world had congregated for the Climate Summit. Suddenly one of the indigenous persons from India burst out with a long statement. I was stunned into inaction for a while. But as I regained my composure, I started fighting back my tears and started clapping. The entire room burst into applause even though it had not understood what she had said in her native Madhya Pradeshi Hindi. I realized that I had to translate this and started doing so in a choked voice: Tell them that WE are making no demands. No demands at all. If THEY want to retrieve life on this plant, let THEM make a demand on us. Because only we have the Power to Help Life Survive On This Earth. This is what she had said.