CAMPAIGN AGAINST WTO
RALLY & PUBLIC MEETING
At Zaheerbad, Medak District On 23rd November, 2005
Women sangham members of DDS, on 23rd November 2005 organized a massive rally in Zaheerabad, denouncing WTO's foray into Indian agriculture and demanding Indian government not to toe the line of WTO's nefarious mandate on Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) at the Hong Kong ministerial conference. Partners from AP caravan of telengana region joined the rally.
The rally was flagged off from Jharasangham cross roads and passed through the main streets of Zaheerbad with traditional fanfare. Sangham women from different villages along the route joined the rally. A decorated bullock cart symbolizing Indian agriculture was the cynosure of all eyes. Protest slogans against WTO, Genetically Modified seeds rented the air. Placards and banners conveying messages against WTO, the need to save Indian agriculture, protection of small and marginal farmers interests, sanctity of traditional seeds, and protection of soils and its fertility were held aloft. Also songs were avidly rendered condemning WTO, GE seeds and highlighting the significance and necessity of traditional, organic farming. Pamphlets were effectively distributed all along the route.
The rally culminated at Government Junior College, Zaheerabad and was followed by a public meeting. Sangham members, Sammamma, Laxammama, Narsamma, Chandramma addressed the public meeting. Jayappa, Deputy Director DDS, chaired the meeting. Friends of AP caravan also shared the dais and addressed the meeting. All the speakers in unison gave a clarion call to save protect and uphold Indian agriculture and the interests of the small and marginal farmers in particular from the sinister forces of WTO. All the speakers spoke eloquently about the efficacy, vibrancy of Indian agriculture and were proud of their agricultural practices. They vehemently opposed any move proving detrimental to the interests of Indian agriculture. The speakers asserted that Indian farmers have wealth of agricultural practices, profound seed knowledge and claimed that they never required or desired any exogenous support or inputs. They rued that the WTO forces are shattering and destroying the Indian agriculture. The adverse impact of WTO on environment, lands, health, seeds and fertility of the soils was dwelt at length by the speakers and cautioned not to fall prey to the forces and be vigilant. The speakers were candid in declaring that under WTO, the sole beneficiaries would be the big multi-national corporations, in effect forcing others to the fringes.
In the end, a fervent call was made to defy WTO and its viciousness.
Later in the day, a media meet was organized at Cafe Ethnic, Zaheerabad. Media persons from both print an electronic media attended the meet. Sangham members and friends from the region addressed the meet. Protest and concerns voices were raised at the meet. In the meet it was again reiterated to save and protect the interests of Indian agriculture in general, small and marginal farmers in particular. They demanded that Indian agriculture be out of the purview of WTO.
The positive out come of the rally, public meeting and the press meet was the sangham members were keen to uphold their farming methods and practices and categorically resented any intrusion into their rights and freedom.
Global Week of Action (GWA)
In tune with the Global Week of Action from India, DDS partners of
Andhra Pradesh in their respective constituencies briefed their honorable
Members of Parliament about the adverse ramifications of WTO on Indian
agriculture. And they were urged to pressurize the government to refrain
from being a signatory to AoA of WTO at the Hong Kong ministerial conference.
All the alliance partners effectively took part in this GWA.