Various civil society groups from all over India held a National Consultation and Planning on Women and Agriculture last August 1, 2014 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. These groups voiced a concern that 67 years after the Declaration of Independence of India, majority of the people are denied their basic right to food, land, health, nutrition, work and social security.
The National Consultation participants also endorsed a statement which made strong demands, some of which include the following: That 60% of land be allotted to agriculture and allied purposes; That there be no more conversion of agricultural land for other purposes; That Panchami or Bhoodan land be allocated to Dalit women; That land re-acquired from industries be allocated to the landless Dalits and Adivasi’s on women’s names; To enhance entitlements to migrants, differently abled, single women, sex workers, transgender and lesbian women under the Right to Food Act; and to stop GM crops, GT food and chemical-based agriculture.
The statement also made a very strong condemnation of anti-people projects such as the Methane Project in Thanjavur, the Neutrino Project in Theni, Cheyyur, and other such projects which adversely affect the ecology and livelihood, and grab lands from already poor people, in the name of profit for big multinational companies and the national government.
“It is very important that concerned people, groups, civil society and social activists from all over India, come together now and make a unified stand for food security, land rights and climate change. This is a strong message to the national government that the people of India stand united to defend their rights,” said Fathima Burnad, Executive Director of SRED (Society for Rural Education & Development). SRED sponsored the activity, with ARWC (Asian Rural Women’s Coalition) as co-sponsor.
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Marjo Busto, Secretariat, Asian Rural Women’s Coalition (ARWC), firstname.lastname@example.org