This member participated in the following discussions
With prospects for higher income earning jobs in urban and peri-urban areas there are major migration from rural areas in Kerala one of the most literate state of India. The migration to middle east, Canada, USA, Australia and Europe from rural and urban Kerala are noteworthy. The shortage in farm and plantation labour are met by immigration from Bihar, West Bengal, UP and North Eastern States. Occurence of marriages among immigrant labour and locals are becoming prevalent. Many commercial banks open during sundays for the service of immigrants. Even church services are held in Hindi in cities like Perumbavoor in Kerala. In construction industries especially national highways, the immigrants play a vital role. In hospitality industry, immigrants from North Eastern states are much visible. Now political parties have come forth to organize the unorganized labours. Despite all the measures taken by the Labour department of the Government,the conditions especially housing are very pathetic.
The Malayalam month "Karkadakam" prior to "chingam" is celeberated as "Ramayanam Month" and Hindus spend time in prayers and adorations.The great saint Valmiki wrote the epic Ramayanam -the story of Lord Ram and Lordess Sita-.Lord Ram,Lordess Sita and brother Laxmana were send to wilderness to fetch for them self.The devilish Ravana hijacked Lordess Sita and took her to Sri Lanka.The celestial war ending in the rescue of Sita and total destruction of Sri Lanka is the anti-climax of the great epic.The epic reveals the importance and central position given to women in socio-political and cultural fabric of Asia.Annie Besant,Sarojini Naidu,Indira Gandhi and many others molded the destiny of 1000 millions of people.Many acts and judicial pronouncements came to protect women and prevent atrocities against them.Women empowerment through collective self employment is showing positive results."Kudumbasree" an all women movement in Kerala is making waves in sectors like hospitality, street vendoring, public cleanliness, environment protection,patient care,postal services, banking, postal services etc.The success stories in Kerala need to be spread to northern states of India where honour killing and child marriages are common.I am attaching a paper published by LANSA, MSSRF Chennai.
Marine and Inland water fisheries are sectors operated by women. Rural fish markets in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are managed exclusively by women."Malsyfed" a co-operative organized by Government of Kerala has all women fish selling kiosks spread all over Kerala. Coir industry in the coastal zones of Kerala had more of women. Cashew industry where nuts are burned and kernel separated depends on women. Drinking water collection from common ponds and pipes is again a prerogative of women. Tailoring is catching groups of women for self employment. Home nurses are again dominated by women. Avenues are endless. Group approach is safer for women in the context of reported atrocities against the fair sex.
There are many notable legislative and administrative actions taken for gender transformation into decent, self respectable, self income earning and respected members of the society and community in India and more particularly in Kerala. Women are now occupying important positions in all the branches of professions and administration. There are reserved legislative positions-member in panchayat, president of panchayat, mayor in corporations and in judiciary. At farming level all women labour army render cultivation of crops a proud and decent job. A lady Inspector General Of Police leads the team to investigate a serious crime and brining culprits to book. The ration card enabling food items etc. is in the name of elderly women member. There are times when an Indian Lady officer leads the armed battalion in functions like Republic Day. Being under subjugation for years it may take time when men and women have equal opportunity to grow. The role of women as a mother is to be understood and praised.
Many measurers are taken by the Government of India to empower women in the household for livelihood security.The ration cards issued to each house hold in Kerala(India) are in the name of eldest women in the house and ration card carries the pass port size photograph of the owner women.There are several incentives to self help women groups.Recently the Cochin Metro opened with a lot of fanfare, women are the piolets and transgenders are given jobs in the metro train.Harassment against women is treated as a non-bailable offence.Despite all these, representation in the powerful assembly and in the state cabinet is abysmally low.At grass root Panchayat level there are legally reserved wards, blocks and Panchayats where women are the elected members/Presidents.There are visible improvement in the literacy levels of women.There are all exclusive women magazines carrying success stories of women in many walks of life.
The success of the green revolution in India is the harmony among agricultural scientists, scientific technologies including seeds and planting materials, availability of inputs like water, nutrients and electrical energy, remunerative prices to farmers, farmer-producer co-operatives and self-help groups including formation of all women farm labour armies and lately mechanization and value addition through products development. KRISHI BHAVANS at each village act as information kiosks, Krishi Vigyan Kendras one each in all the districts of India, ATIC (Agricultural Technology Information Centres), ATMA (Agriculture Technology Management Agency) to manage scientific information flow to farmers serving farmers with knowledge and materials. There are all women neighbourhoods providing farm labour in all the farming activities. There are over 75 State Agricultural Universities with separate Division of Extension. Division of Social Sciences in over 65 ICAR-Carntral Institutes provides scientific manpower at graduate and post graduate levels. Media both visual and print have come forward to reach information to grass root level farmers. There are many Non Government Organizations working for the farmers. Despite all the above efforts there are reports of farmers suicide due to debt, crop failure and natural calamities. In a country like India where over 1250 million mouths have to be fed, agriculture production is in cross roads. Gender concerns in agriculture are being addressed with an open mind. Many universities have established "CENTRE FOR GENDER CONCERNS" for research and extension purposes.
Investments on clean food system should consist of investment on nutrition education, clean drinking water, food items free from pesticide residues, good cooking practices, good serving practices and zero wastage.In India there are organized kitchens in Gurudwaras,Temples and Churches serving food to lakhs of people at a time.There are community kitchens during marriages, festivals and social gatherings when prefered foods are cooked and made available hot.There are also chain of restaurants serving city residents and kitchenless homes with good food.Food safety is an issue where food inspectors visit and certify the standards maintained.Despite every efforts food poisoning due to aflatoxins is rampant.Issue of alergy to certain items like nuts needs to be studied.It is important that vegetables and fruits are included in nutritive foods."Food is thy medicine " is a much quoted statement of Hippocrates.
Value chain involves crops/livestock, farming practices and farmers, products and produces, pre-and post harvest technologies, procts testing, packing, branding, marketing, consumers, waste recycling to value added products. Each link of the chain is interdependent. The basic economics of an effective value chain is that producer-farmers should get 50% more than cost of production. Processing involves technologies. Food safety and certification ensure quality of products to consumers. The quality of primary raw materials-grains, farm produced vegetables and fruits, spices, plantation crops, tubers, mushrooms and edible bamboos is a priori to quality end products. Standardisation of value chain has come to stay in many countries.
"Horticulture for Nutrition Security" is a collection of essays on fruits, vegetables,tubers, spices, plantation crops and mushrooms which provide essential nutrients on consumption."There is a horticultural remedy for every nutritional remedy" according to Prof. M S Swaminathan Father of Green Revolution in India.Nutrition Garden/Kitchen garden/Backyard garden is an integrated nutrition farming system which makes use of available space, light, water and home labour to harvest vegetable, fruits and spices needs of a family.Nutrition gardening is a thearapy against mild depression.It is a refreshing experience to differentally abled people.There is absolute control on use of pesticides and fungicides.Biological methods of pest and disease management are followed.In the Southern State of Kerala India, there are peoples movements to grow pesticide-poison- free vegetables.Training is given to housewives on different aspects of kitchen garden.Seeds are supplied by local governments in association with Newspaper Publishers-Malayala Manorama-.Tips on cultivation are given by trained master trainers-leaders of self help groups-.
The book "Horticulture for Nutrition Security" is published by Astral International Pvt Ltd New Delhi.(www.astralint.com)
HORTICULTURE FOR NUTRITIONAL SECURITY is a recent compilation of essays authored by working scientists in the area of horticulture-fruits, vegetables, spices, tuber crops, plantation crops, mushrooms and edible bamboos.Professor M S Swaminathan Father of Green Revolution in India in his FORWORD to the book stated "There is a horticultural solution for every nutritional malady".A great Kashmiri saint stated "As long as forests exist, food will be available to humanity.The compilation is published by New India Publishing Agency New Delhi(www.nipabooks.com).Availability,access,absorption and sanitized habitat are a priori requirements of a healthy human nutrition.Nutrition garden/kitchen garden/ homestead garden/verical garden/hyroponics/aeroponics etc are methods of farming for self sufficiency in horticultural crops requirement.