New Delhi: An alliance of organizations working on agriculture and other issues will launch a ‘National level Jan Abhiyan on Bhumi Suposhan and Samrakshan’ in April 2021. This multi-dimensional Abhiyan will comprise of action, awareness generation and advocacy for reinstating the holistic Bhumi Suposhan concept. The initial phase of three months will start on auspicious Chaitra Pratipada, the first day of the new year in traditional Bhartiya calendar. This year it will be on 13th April 2021, Wednesday. The Abhiyan is a joint effort of 33 organizations.
We have overlooked Bhumi Suposhan for over last 200 years of ‘modern’ agriculture. We have been exploiting our lands as an infinite economic resource. We are extracting nutrients from our lands with minimum reciprocation. Presently 30% of our geographical area is suffering from severe land degradation. As per the experiences of the farmers the input cost in agriculture is continuously increasing, productivity is decreasing, reduction in organic carbon, as a result decrease in production. Additionally, water holding capacity of the land and the water level also is going down. As a result of nutrient deficient land resource, we are observing nutritional deficiencies and related diseases in human and animals.
It is an appropriate time to retrace our roots in caring for our land. The Jan Abhiyan is a first step towards reinstating holistic Bhartiya Krishi Chintan. According to Bhartiya Krishi Chintan, the land or Bhumi is a living being that provides us all basic needs. In return, we should care for her, replenish her. There are numerous examples in ancient Bhartiya literature that affirm the holistic approach towards tending our lands. For example, माता भूममिः पुत्रो अहं पृथिव्याः is a verse in the Bhumi Sukta of Atharva Veda that mentions Bhumi is a mother and we are her sons. Thus, Bhumi Suposhan and Samrakshan are ingrained in Bhartiya Krishi Chintan.
The National level Jan Abhiyan on Bhumi Suposhan and Samrakshan will start with Bhumi Pujan scheduled at 10.00 am on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, (13th April 2021, Wednesday) all over the country. The basic tenet of the Abhiyan is caring for our lands is the responsibility of every citizen.
Therefore, it will be conducted in villages and cities alike, all over the country. The Jan abhiyan is an outcome of an extensive consultative process implemented in the last four years. It included among others, one to one consultative meetings with farmers and agriculture scientists, write shops, regional meetings and a national conference on Bhumi Suposhan in January 2018.
The Jan Abhiyan will have action, awareness generation and advocacy on Bhumi Suposhan. In the initial phase of the Abhiyan, various programmes like felicitating farmers practicing nonchemical means of farming, awareness generation on replenishing the lands, initiating Bhumi Suposhan on the fields of the willing farmers, encouraging segregation of degradable waste and converting it into compost in housing societies in cities etc. are planned. There will be seminars, workshops, debates, and farmer’s field schools too.
A dedicated office to coordinate Jan Abhiyan is set up in New Delhi. The Abhiyan will be guided by a Margadarshak Mandal and Abhiyan will be led by a steering committee consisting of farmers successfully practicing Bhartiya Krishi Paddhati i.e., nonchemical farming.