Poison In The Menu

Continued from "Is Home the Most Unsafe Place for an Indian Woman?" 

The Eighth Episode - Satyameva Jayate

There is no dearth of horror tales in our country. Pesticide saga is yet another example of acute apathy of the general public towards serious issues. Lack of education and lack of concern have finally brought poison to our menu. Leave alone menu, mother’s milk has been found to be poisonous.  Rashmi Sanghi of IIT, Kanpur shared the findings of her research. Due to pesticide consumption, even mother’s milk has been found to be dangerously poisonous. The soil is losing its fertility and so are doing the sons and daughters of the soil. 

We have all heard the example of Kasargod in Kerala. The case was discussed in detail.  Endosulfan was sprayed in this region of Kerala by choppers for twenty five long years. Extreme abnormalities have been found in human beings as well as animals of this region. Dr. Mohan Kumar was the lone crusader of this region who fought the pesticide onslaught. Once the court order prohibited Endosulfan, abnormalities have also deceased. 

Farmers of Nasik do not eat their own grapes because of the poison. Nilesh Desai of Gujarat said that he grows vegetables etc for his family separately. For market consumption, he has different norms; he doesn’t care if people die or suffer.  Farming is business; business is money making. So, there’re no moral strings attached. Even official data has been manipulated so as to hide the extent of the problem. Indians use a cocktail of pesticides without knowing its impact. We even have a cancer train ‘Bhatinda to Bikaner’ which carries cancer patients. Children have been found to be born without brain due to pesticides. Madam Kavita of Asha Society, Surinder Kumar Rajput and Jarnail Singh, Gurpreet Singh from Punjab, Dr. Kabra from Jaipur, Mr Pawan from Sikkim, Hukum Chandra from Rajasthan and the activist Vandana Shiva are those rare people who are trying to raise awareness in this regard.  Dr. Ramanjaneyulu from Andhra Pradesh has done pioneering work in this field. He has developed cheap mechanisms that help organic farming.   

The program was balanced in the sense that the pesticide lobby was also heard. Rajju Shroff of a big pesticide company came and defended the blind use of pesticides. He argued and he tried to convince. He even tried to crack a joke. But the painful side is that we do not have any machinery in our country which may monitor this blind use of poison. Farmers happily use hundred times more pesticide than required. There’s no one to check or monitor or educate them. Things go all by themselves. 

Overall, it was a very effective and relevant show. It succeeded in disturbing the viewer. Aamir succeeded in busting the ‘India-shining’ myth. Green Revolution messed up the growth story of India. We need to get our priorities right.  Much remains to be desired at the governance front. Public awareness, sensitivity, basic ethics and effort are required. It’s good that we are talking about things. It’s good that issues are coming up. We have created platforms where we discuss things without bias.
The solution is at our arms’ length only if we become conscious about it. In my opinion, this show will always be remembered as a conscience raiser. 
Read Also: 
A Deadly Damage 
Are We Being Slow Poisoned?   

Continued to:  Idiotic, Ugly and Repulsive: The True Face of a Drunken Person 



More by :  Prof. Shubha Tiwari

Top | Opinion

Views: 3336      Comments: 3

Comment Doesn't surprises me at all! Adultration, cheating, fraud, miscarriage of justice,corruption . Etc etc is just a way of life across all walks of the society. So what is new in Mother India?

26-Jun-2012 20:30 PM

Comment Watched the Episode and read this blog too. It is said that major part of the salad in the Hotels in Mumbai comes from the vegetables grown along the railway tracks of Mumbai where the water sometimes comes from the houses and huts along the track.
In the many of the industrial cities along the Golden corridor of Gujarat, most of the vegetables grown are irrigated by the wastes from the industrial plants of the area like the IPCL,GSFC,etc.These vegetables come to the veg markets of Vadodara and other cities.
Aaamir Khan has just touched the smallest tip of the Iceberg.

Suresh Mandan
25-Jun-2012 16:40 PM

Comment The mention of mother's milk being toxic gives an indication of what is perhaps presumed as no danger by members of the general public provided, that is, they thouroughly wash all vegetables prior to consumption (as I do) to remove every trace of sprayed-on pesticide. One does not imagine pesticide entering the the plant through the roots or the pores of its stems and leaves, which seems to be the implication here but is not explicitly stated.

25-Jun-2012 10:10 AM

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