October 23rd 2010: Day 3 of the Yatra in Karnataka
“Livestock rearers issues raised in Sira: these issues are an integral part of Kisan Swaraj, emphasise speakers”
“Tallampella Panchayat declares itself GM-Free”
On this day, everyone got ready by 8 am, with a spring in their feet. They were greatly energized by the response that the Yatra was generating in Karnataka.
The first stop was at Chitradurga. It was in some ways similar to the earlier day. Many motorbikes led the rally from the front and we paved our way through busy bazaar roads of this town. Then we all did a sit-in at the main chowk of the town – this drew the attention of hundreds of people and the slogans that rented the air then clearly communicated what the yatra is seeking. WE distributed leaflets, talked about the yatra issues and speakers highlighted the need for sustainable agriculture and why toxic technologies like GM seeds and chemical pesticides should be stopped.
We then proceeded to Sira where we were welcomed by a group of livestock rearers. They fed us with a sumptuous lunch comprising of ‘mannina oota’ , ragi mudde. That was at the Lohia Samata Vidyalaya. Post-lunch, we had discussions about sustainable agriculture and how livestock is an important and integral part of that. Livestock rearers talked about the perils that they are facing and how their very existence is threatened.
Then we moved on to the next village called Tallampella. There was a discussion in the village on GM seeds after which they declared themselves GM-Free. This is very unique for it becomes the first panchayat in Karnataka to declare itself as GM-free. Very topical and heartening for the Kisan Swaraj Yatris. A copy of their resolution to this effect was given to us. Apparently, the former Prime Minister, Mr Chandrasekar, had stopped over in this village during his famous padayatra.
Next stop was Tumkur, a close neighbour to Bangalore and urbanizing very fast. Here we had a press meet followed by a meeting.
In all, a good day of action and satisfaction.
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