EXHIBITION, A DANCE DRAMA AND FOLK SONGS BY RURAL ARTISTS WILL SERVE AS CREATIVE
EXPRESSIONS OF HUNGER FACED BY FARMERS. THESE EVENTS ARE PART OF OXFAM INDIA’S
NEW FOOD JUSTICE CAMPAIGN, GROW, WHICH KICKS OFF SIMULTANEOUSLY ACROSS 45
COUNTRIES, INCLUDING SIX INDIAN CITIES, TODAY
It is one of the ironies of life that the farmers
who grow crops and provide daily meals to Indians are the ones who go to bed
hungry. “ Nearly 80% of Indian farmers are small scale cultivators who own
barely 1- 2 acres of land. This is a global problem and is faced by farmers
living in other Asian countries and in sub- Saharan Africa,” informs Bipasha
Majumder, Communications Officer, Oxfam India ( Mumbai).
Oxfam ( initially, Oxford Committee for Famine
Relief) was instituted in Great Britain to provide lasting solutions to poverty
The NGO’s latest global campaign, Grow, targets
food injustice and aims to improve food growth and distribution amongst marginal
farmers through cultural activities relevant to rural Maharashtra.
To raise awareness, Oxfam will hold a photo
exhibition — Portraits of Hunger — with 27 photographs by two national and two
The photographers have captured moving, poignant
images of poverty and destitution from villages in Bihar, UP, Andhra Pradesh,
Chhattisgarh and Orissa.
Performers from Naman, a local dance troupe from
Alibag will perform a dancedrama on issues faced by farmers. This dance has won
the international Celesta Dance Competition twice.
Watch out for the Pune- based band Rehmaniya and a
local folk group from the Marathwada region ( which witnesses several farmer
suicides), who will sing songs expressing the angst of the rural populace. There
will also be a celebratory Shetkari dance, typically performed by farmers after
a good harvest.
Grow is planned as a fouryear campaign, to be
flagged off on June 1, across 45 countries. “ If there is more awareness, it
might convince the government to take action and change their official policies
towards farmers,” says Majumder.
She adds that the issue is not just about
insufficient produce. “ Other factors are also at play such as a market monopoly
by conglomerates, illegal land grabbing and climate change. We will highlight
the plight of women farmers who toil hard but are denied the land rights enjoyed
by male farmers,” shares Majumder. Apart from Mumbai, the campaign will also
take place in Delhi, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Patna and Lucknow.
ON June 1, 6.30 pm onwards AT KR Cama Hall, Kala