Session held to discuss future of villages in Maharashtra


Nagpur: A state-level daylong discussion session, ‘Gaav-Gaadyancha nimitaane bhavishyatil gramin vikaasache bhavitavya’, held at Dr Ambedkar College, Deekshabhoomi, on Sunday, attempted to portray the economic, social, political and cultural changes in Maharashtra.
Various agricultural activists and thinkers were brought together on one platform to put forth their views on the situation in today’s rural society.

The introductory remarks of the discussion were given by Nanda Khare, who emphasized on how the gap between cities and villages is widening, and without government support and intervention, farming is not possible.

Pratap Marode shed light on the situation of rural society in west Vidarbha, through his observances of Sangrampur taluka in Buldhana district. “The water-level in this region has decreased, yet the farmers have neglected other crops in pursuance of soyabean, tur and cotton. Caste discrimination has not ceased and social media has started to have an impact of villages. But, the social media has been used to spread negative vibes about other villages and superstitions,” he said.

Here, doubling of agricultural yield by 2022 seems a far-fetched thought, he said, adding that the sustenance of present yield till 2022 would also prove to be positive. Marode raised the issue of youngsters trying to find employment in companies as they feel agriculture is not dependable. Marode offered 5 acre to any individual who is keen on bringing about a change using his agricultural skills.

Before him, author and agricultural activist Ulka Mahajan gave insights into the way of village life in Konkan region. Here, she said that the zamindars system has not stopped, but has taken on a new disguise. “Malnutrition exists, especially in tribal areas and so does starvation. Women’s education has improved the way of life, but at the same time, child marriage also exists. Caste discrimination is an ongoing thing,” she said.

However, there are no farmer suicides in this region and even today, as farmers take pride in owning land in this agricultural belt, she said. Land is still the traditional pillar and the base of exploitation in Konkan, said Mahajan.

The situation in North Maharashtra and Marathwada were also discussed by Amol Patil and Asaram Lomate respectively.

Issues such as women’s lifestyle in villages, environment and drought, future of employment in rural areas, movements for justice, urban and rural life were also tackled by a gamut of thinkers like Pratima Ingole, Atul Deolgaonkar, Ashwini Kulkarni, Kumar Shiralkar, Vilas Bhongade and Shrinivas Khandewale.

The event was a joint initiative by Ruikar Institute for Labour and Social-Cultural Studies, Centre For People’s Collective, Dr Ambedkar College, Deekshabhoomi and People for India Forum.


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