Sunday, 30 July 2017

Action or awareness?


Everyone is ‘aware’ of the farmer suicides scaling up each day with the
plights still not inching the end. Everyone is ‘aware’ of the recurring protests
spearheaded in the capital. Everyone is ‘acquainted’ with the methods of
protest that the peasants staged to present their destitute state. We are just
aware’. With this condition unceasing, the crying need is ‘ACTION’ and not
awareness. This doesn’t mean a group of angry youngsters jumping into
the protest field or a huddle agitating in Marina. The realistic solution for
this issue roots from the scratch-emphasizing agriculture to be a part of
school education. Just like moral science being a section to be imbibed in
the curriculum, why can’t a way of living like agriculture be inculcated too?
If that’s the case, how can the syllabi be shaped up?

The subject must focus on renaissance of Indian agriculture, agricultural
practices, seed and planting techniques, soil tests. This may sound tedious
for a 10-year- old. But the subject must concentrate more on hands-on
experience rather than being a boring book. Here are some of the
techniques that can be incorporated:


Borrowing the words of Aeschylus “From a small seed a mighty trunk may
grow”. The life starts from seed and this begins from home, so the
collection of seeds from home to outdoor implants a quest. The plantation
of seeds helps in understanding the science behind the life cycle of a seed.
Once they are introduced into sprouting process, it can be extended to
simple agricultural practices like container farming. 

Container farming involves the use of any container at home with holes
drilled at the bottom for plantation. The right amount of space and right
conditions makes this space-efficient technique a success.

An interesting activity that attracts any age is seed bombs or seed balls.
Seeds combined with the mixture of clay and manure are wrapped into
lumps and thrown like balls. This seed propagation method that is non-
destructive to soil health is ideal for urban areas. 

After cultivation comes the nourishing part which involves the preparation
of natural manures. This can be done by converting leaf litters into manures
which highlights waste management.

Periodic farm and agricultural area visits are inevitable. This gives an
exposure on the real ‘groundwork’ behind the production of food. Farmers
share their wisdom and this makes the pain behind their laborious work
more apprehend.

Beyond books

Agriculture isn’t something based only on land or crops. The TNAU
(Tamilnadu Agricultural University) offers nearly 12 agricultural courses
comprising of B.Sc (Agriculture), B.Sc (Agribusiness management), B.Tech
(Agricultural engineering). It can also be melded with technology with
B.Tech (Agricultural Information Technology) standing as a testimony. It is
the backbone that drives our economy with its dormant scope.

- Akshaya Ramani
  NanSei Nilam

Monday, 10 July 2017

Why do we need organic farming?


After green revolution there has been no great agricultural movement in our country and recent researches have revealed the drastic rise in health issues with consumption of food cultivated through artificial methods. Taking these things into account,getting back to the conventional agricultural practices is the need of the hour

But the yield in traditional method is low and time consuming too. A method that meets this with high yield being eco friendly at the same time is 'Organic farming'.

Organic farming involves the usage of natural manure strictly prohibiting artificial fertilizers ensuring sustainability and enhancement of soil fertility. Organic farming is proved to be self reliant and stable due to cut down in the use of chemicals.Usage of naturally occurring pesticides like legumes and pyrethrin helps in nitrogen fixation thus increasing the organic content in the soil.

This leads to food and health safety and opens a good market for organic food as well. Suitable techniques are adopted including crop rotation,inter cropping in addition to the emphasis on green manures.

Green manures obtained from farm wastes,leaf litter,crop residue replaces the nutrients taken from the soil and allows natural production of nutrients.This accelerates the biological processes being cost effective too.

Poultry and livestock play a prominent role as the animal excreta like cow dung is blended with earthworms in the production of vermi-compost. This encourages animal husbandry and is an ideal way for farm waste management.
Crop rotation popularly known as 'Poly-culture', involves the cultivation of dissimilar crops in the same land space as a result of which the soil is enriched by nutrients.By this technique,the nutrients leached in the previous harvest are restored back increasing the organic content of the soil.Insects and micro organisms of various kinds are also benefited,hence curtailing their extinction. 

Inter-cropping,an analogous method controls pest buildup and enriches the soil.The financial risks are reduced with the hike in the yield.

G Nammalvar ,the messiah of organic farming,is known for holding a vast repository in farming insisted organic farming as a 'way of living' which is possible even in this 21st century. He has trained a large number of youngsters and shared his knowledge.Having sown the seeds of organic farming,its in our hands to let it germinate and grow into strong trees.

-Akshaya Ramani
 NanSei Nilam


Sunday, 4 June 2017



We are all aware that a group of about 100 farmers from Tamil Nadu have been protesting in Delhi for a month now, to get the government to meet their various demands, which include a Rs 40,000 central drought relief fund and pensions for old farmers who can no longer tend to their fields. In its essence it is the longest continuous demonstration in recent times and is organized under the protection of police and the consent of the state. It is contained and unlikely to descend into chaos, One thing that cannot go unnoticed is the extent to which these people are ready to go, to capture the media and the public's attention- the agitators are , however, well aware that their protest has to be suitably dramatic for media consumption.

The leader, P Ayyakannu sets the benchmark by chanting “If they put us on the train back to Tamil Nadu, we will pull the chain. If they beat us, we will jump off the train. We will stay here till our demands are met or we die.” That's just the beginning. They  have come heavily prepared with props, skulls and mice and snakes, and have been pulling off one desperate act after another, almost daily. The sheer amount of theatricality and drama ranges from bizarre to spine chillingly shocking. The farmers started off with eating dal and rice off the streets. Then they moved on to perform angapradakshinam – rolling prostrate- on the street at Jantar Mantar . Things began to heat up when they staged suicides and conducted mock funerals. In the next act, they shaved off half their moustaches and beards. This still got no attention, they went extreme and stripped in front of the Prime Minister’s office, standing with mice in their mouths. And finally, things took a rather scary turn when they s hung human skulls around their necks, which they claim belong to farmers in their state who committed suicide because of mounting debt.

But we don't understand this- is the media just covering the drama and sensation? Has the original cause for protest been forgotten? As days pass and things are getting more and more disturbing, the actual motive behind this event is at the risk of being forgotten. Irrespective of whether that is indeed the case, by now, the protest has taken on farcical proportions. The performance seems to have become the point of it. To sum things up, a photographer from a daily newspaper who has been covering the farmers’ protest regularly, said: “My editors don’t want to write about the issue, they just want dramatic photographs.”. Let's hope that this is not what's going to happen. 

-Aswitha Balaji                                                                                                                                            Blogger                                                                                                                                                      NanSei Nilam 

NanSei Nilam- how it began

NanSei Nilam- how it began. 

It was on the 21st day of January, two best friends decided to dedicate their time towards helping our farmers- the pride of our country. 

As the crowd chanted " WE WANT JALLIKATTU", we noticed a small group of old people carrying placards with slogans stating a completely different situation. Intrigued by it, we approached towards them and questioned them about it. Their faces were wrinkled and they looked dehydrated. We offered them some biscuits and water. They claimed that they had been fighting for people to understand the situation of the farmers in Tamil Nadu for more than 48 hours in the Marina beach. 

Being from the city of Chennai, we were not completely aware of the situation. 

We looked at each other surprisingly and shocked that we were unmindful about the happenings. We immediately Googled about it and researched as much as we could. Shocked by the information, we felt nothing but sympathy for them. 

That's when Prasanna uttered the words " Lets do something. As much as we can. Even if its just the two of us." We knew our biggest strength were our friends and the social media. We began circulating messages and noticed that a lot of people were interested in our ideas. 

The first few months were busy. We had over a hundred people contact us and show their support. We held meetings to encourage more people to join our cause and give suggestions. 

Today, we are a strong team of 66 people apart from the volunteers. We work everyday to promote and gain support from the public. We want as many people to learn about the situation of the farmers and help as much as they can. 
Today, we are content. 

Today, we will make the world a better place to live in. 

- S. Shruthikka 
(Co- founder) 
NanSei Nilam