Concluding Ceremony of Mobile Biodiversity Festivals 2005
The Biodiversity Festival has now become an annual feature of the region where the Deccan Development Society works. It has become one of the traditional festival for the local people and the same with the name "Biodiversity Festival - 2005" started from Village Hoti B, Zaheerabad Mandal, Medak District on January 14, 2005 on the auspicious day of Sankranti and has traveled through 54 villages. The Jathra was inaugurated by Dr Rajender Singh, a famous environmentalist and winner of Raman Magsaysay award. Invitees from the state government viz., Smt. Nirmala I.A.S., Joint Commissioner for Rural development, Govt. of A.P., Sri Suresh Shetkar, M.L.A., Narayankhed, Sri G.V. Ramanjaneyulu, Reknowned Agricultural Scientist participated in the opening ceremony.
The Concluding Ceremony of the Jatara is held at Pachasaale, the Green School being run by the DDS at Machnoor Village, Jharasangam Mandal on February 15, 2005. Some of the special invitees who have participated in the ceremony are Mr P V S Suryakumar, Deputy General Manager, NABARD, Dr Michel Pimbert, International Institute of Environment & Development , London, Ms Ignacia Yucra Alvarez, ANDES, Peru, Mr Sayyad Soltani, CENESTA, Iran. A group of farmers and internationally known environmentalists from Peru, Iran and UK have actively participated in the Closing Ceremony.
DDS "Biodiversity Calendar" was released by Ms Sunita Patil , Chairperson, Medak Zilla Parished, Andhra Pradesh. A Film on "People's Agenda for Bio diversity" was released by Dr Vinod Pavarala, Professor of Communication,University of Hyderabad
DDS had made detailed survey to identify the well-noted and successful farmers, who have wedded their agricultural activity for keeping alive the traditional agricultural methods and propagating the importance of biodiversity, and mixed cropping patterns. Advantage has been taken to invite such farmers and honor them before the elite guests and general public at the Concluding Ceremony. Advantage has also been taken to honour Ms Chilakapalli Anasuyamma Ms Bardipur Shantamma and Ms Ranjole Shobha,Ms Eedulapalle Manjula who had done unforgettable service by actively participating and conducting Jathras during the year 2004 and 2005.
Consequent on celebrating the festival in 54 villages and having interaction
with a diverse and large sections of farmers the attention of entire
audience centered on such issues in the concluding ceremony. As a result
the following memorandum unanimously approved by the farmers has been
submitted to Ms Sunita Patel, Chair Person, Medak Zilla Parishad for
further follow up with Government.
Memorandum submitted to Ms Sunita Patil , Chairperson, Medak Zilla Parished, Medak District
As the first citizen of the District of Medak and as the citizen of Jaharasangam Mandal, you are extremely familiar with the agriculture of this region. When the entire Andhra Pradesh is going through a period of extreme turmoil marked by thousands of farmer suicides, we are proud that the Zaheerabad region has not had a single suicide until recently. We recognise this phenomenon as the result of an extraordinary farming system that we as women and as Dryland farmers have kept alive.
If we are able to conserve this farming system that is characterised by non chemical agriculture, crop diversity, raising of millets and food crops, then our lives and agriculture will be saved for ever and there will never be any suicide in this region. As the first citizen of this district, we earnestly request you to protect and enhance this richness of our agriculture.
As mentioned earlier, the Mobile Biodiversity Festival initiated by us has dialogued with over 150,000 farmers over the last five years. During this dialogue all the farmers have repeatedly endorsed the strength of our farming and have said that if the government provided an enabling environment for us, Zaheerabad region will have not agrarian crisis that has enveloped other parts of our state and the country. Very specifically the farmers have made the following demands.
We hope as the first citizen of the District and as a very sensitive woman leader, you will consider all these issues holistically and start some bold and regenerative initiatives in our district and provide a lead to the State, the country and the world. If you are able to take steps to realise the above requests, this district will become suicide free, ecological and move towards prosperity and self reliance.
With our collective regards