Mumbai, November 10, 2020: While we, and the entire world, were busy clapping and banging plates and utensils to show solidarity with the frontline COVID warriors — the doctors, nurses and civic workers — there was another group of unsung heroes, our farmers, who toiled day and night without relenting to bring food to our plates. For them, there was no lockdown.
In fact, this was the first disaster in history — whether natural, or man-made — which saw no shortage of food and no break in the supply pipeline. Since February, with the rapid spread of COVID-19, life has been extremely difficult for every one of us. It was an unprecedented situation and fear gripped us with all reason failing.
Good Times, Bad Times
But while fighting the scourge through the long lockdown period, we enjoyed life to an extent, too, by being with our families, sharing good times and good food. Some of us even experimented with cooking and became successful home chéfs.
Others cooked huge quantities of food to help those who lost their jobs and were in urgent need of help. But, unlike in any past pandemic situation, there was no food scarcity this time around. Despite all the odds, our farmers kept glued to the grindstone, working overtime to ensure that food reached our table in time.
Through Thick and Thin
The busiest season for farmers is from mid-February to mid-July as this is harvest time for important crops, such as onion, potato, wheat, sugarcane, mustard and fruits like grapes, pomegranate, banana and others. They also have to prepare the field for the next crop season (kharif), so it is back-breaking work for them.
Even in normal times, farmers have to face a lot of uncertainties and challenges, such as poor or delayed monsoon, moneylenders’ arm-twisting, not getting the proper price for their produce and many more. And, with the lockdown, there was a severe disruption in their demand from mandies, supply chain systems as also a shortage of labourers.
Let’s Give Them Their Due #ThankYouFarmers
Despite all this, our farm heroes along with their families took on the responsibility of keeping us healthy and strong and provided us with fresh fruits, vegetables and all the grains that we needed. They kept working without a break, so that we stayed safe at home under lockdown and were able to take care of our children and our elders, too.
But did these heroes get their share of acknowledgement and appreciation? Let us take this opportunity and salute the sons of the soil — the real driving force of the nation — respectfully for keeping our bellies full all through the lockdown.
Sahyadri Farms, one of India’s biggest farmer-producer companies, has initiated a cause campaign – #ThankYouFarmers towards bridging the urban and rural communities. The whole initiative is to spread awareness of the fact that the rural communities need urban communities to understand them and vice versa.
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