For all the talk about this Govt or the previous Govt, except for power and the exchange of money, nothing else really changes.
It’s been 15 years since farmers exposed to use of pesticides died and nothing has changed. It was bought to light in 2012 when there was an expose by Times of India, which showed how 500 farmers in Andhra Pradesh had died of pesticide exposure. There was a furor about this in the Parliament and when asked during question hour, the Govt said that it was promoting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce consumption of chemical pesticides.
The same story was seen in Dec’17 when reports once again of farmers dying of pesticide exposure in several states. When asked this time, the Govt said, “we are implementing ‘Strengthening and Modernization of Pest Management Approach’ (SMPMA) Scheme, wherein, inter alia, Farmers Field Schools (FFSs) are organized to sensitize farmers on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach”.
See? Only names and committees and organisations change; at the ground level, nothing changes.
To think of it – mere exposure is killing farmers; what is happening to all of us who are eating this? These issues are never ever a priority and never come up as life changing problems. Talk about skewed priorities – the Govt is a mere reflection of our society, of what we all are.