Saturday, May 23, 2009

Food Security and Indian Small and Marginal Farmers

by Kapil Mishra
Last one year, world has witnessed a Global fall in economies. Everywhere we hear the talks of recession and its impact on economies, job lay offs, etc. One more aspect that International community especially organizations like World Bank, IMF etc. have realized that this recession is not impacting Indian Economy as badly as it is affecting others. According to recently published research study by International Institute of Management Development (IMD) India is better prepared to handle recession than countries like USA, Britain, Japan, China, Russia etc.

What is so unique about our economy, what are the factors that are saving Indian Economy and what has made India better prepared to handle this recession is not a hidden secret. India is an agricultural country.

70% of Indian population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture and allied activities; this population remains more or less unaffected by this economic slowdown. In 2008, India’s so called illiterate and ignorant farmers have saved the country from collapse. The lesson to learn here is that agriculture alone can save and sustain the country in creating employment, curtailing migration, producing sufficient food and sustaining the economy.

But for Indian farmers there is very little hope left. While our elite have gained wealth, comforts, name and fame. Our Farmers / Kisans have not only lost their sustainability and livelihood but also their self respect. Agriculture is neither profitable nor the farmers are happy. Other professionals are organizing themselves and making money, going places and earning prosperity and popularity, our farmers are being forced to migrate to cities and left to beg or work as laborers to make both ends meet. Every year 20,000-30,000 farmers are committing suicides but no one in noticing. Farmer suicides in various parts of India are worst crisis human civilization has ever faces. But it is not getting required attention from policy makers, from farmer organizations and from media. Read more...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our Response to TOI article

"YOUTH FOR JUSTICE" Response to Dr. E. Shridharan views on Yamuna published in Times of India on 20th May 2009.

The Editor
Times of India

This is with response to story published in your esteemed newspaper titled "Restrict Yamuna with walls and develop low lying areas" sharing views of Dr. E Shridharan, Managing Director of Delhi Metro.

In the article you have mentioned Dr. Shridharan blaming a handful of environmentalists as obstacle in the way of saving yamuna.

"Youth for Justice" is actively involved in the campaign against construction of Commonwealth Games village on Yamuna riverbed and since last two years we are carrying out series of protests, joint marches and other events sensitizing people on the issue. We have also raised the voice for the Yamuna river inside Delhi Assembly and some of our volunteers were got detained for the act.

It is very clear that we are part of these "handful of environmentalists" Dr. Shridharan is refereeing to. So we find it natural to share our response to the same.

First of all , we would like to share that we have great respect for Dr. Shridharan and we also perceive as a role model for all those who aspire to create a modern India. His achievements in Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro are remarkable.

On Yamuna issue we have a stand that Yamuna river bed should be protected as it is the biggest source for drinking water to the people of Delhi and at the same time this river bed is only major source for ground water recharge and if we allow it to destroy it would drastically affect the already diminishing ground water table of the city.

Mr. Shridharan is comparing Yamuna river with European rivers like Thames , this itself is like comparing the non comparable. European rivers are completely different than Himalayan river in terms of Nature, flow, rain fall, flood, etc. and thus both can not be treated alike. Similar treatment is bound to result in an ecological disaster.

Secondly, Mr. Shridharan is blaming a few environmantalists but he forget to mention moratorium issued by Lt. Governor of Delhi which prohibits any concrete construction on the river bed.

Similarly his opinion is not in line with the river zone development plan ( zone "o") presented by DDA. Mr. E. Shridharan should have a look on the same.

Similarly opinion of Delhi High Court has also been against what Mr. Shridharan is proposing and more than once Delhi High Court has made it clear that no permanent or temporary construction of any nature should be allowed on the river bed.

It shows that perhaps this time Mr. Shridharn is not making an informed choice.

At the same time we also would like to make it clear that we are not against development and we also believe that there are hundreds of unauthorised colonies on the river bed which are seeking basic developmental initiatives for years and we fully support the idea of changing the land use to accommodate these colonies in the mainstream development policies of the city.
Commonwealth Games villages and Akshardham can wait but kind of humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in these colonies requires our immediate attention.

We respect Dr. Shridharan and would like to request him through your esteemed newspaper that he should come out with a detailed plan for yamuna and then this plan should be made available for response from experts and public. Random suggestions and blaming citizen groups for their well informed actions is not going to solve the purpose.

We have decided not to join the protest against launch of Delhi Metro Yamuna Bank Station because we feel that Delhi Metro is for social interest, but is doesn't mean that we should accept anything in the name of development.

Sustainable and Justified development is the need of the hour and we would keep raising our voices for the same.

Again we request you to share our views with the readers and with Dr. Shridharan so that a much needed public debate on Yamuna and Sustainable development of the city can be initiated.

Thanks and Regards

Kapil Mishra
for Youth for Justice

Yamuna:views of E. Shridharan (METROMAN)

( As published in TOI on 20th May 2009)
Restrict Yamuna with walls and develop low-lying areas
Dr E Sreedharan, MD of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, says a handful of environmentalists are coming in the way of saving the river and calls for setting up of an SPV to do the job
When the members of the British parliament sat in the House of Commons on a day in the late 1850s, they could not transact any business on account of the foul stench emanating from the Thames. That was the day the government decided to clean up the river and limit its width by building high retaining walls along both banks. By so confining the river, a new hydrological regime was achieved which resulted in self-cleansing during high and low tides. Sewage and industrial effluents flowing into the Thames were intercepted and taken elsewhere for treatment. The large tract of low-lying areas behind the retaining walls were given for real estate development. And that is how London is today — clean, with majestic and monumental buildings lining the banks of the Thames. The same story appears to have been repeated for all great cities located on river banks whether it is Paris, Budapest, Moscow, New York or Seoul. In all these cities, the river is ‘trained’ (cause to grow in a particular direction or shape) with retaining walls and the banks on either side are beautified with parks, promenades and landmark buildings. Why cannot Delhi also learn lessons from the experience of these cities? The Yamuna river has to be trained and confined to a width that is defined between abutments of the existing bridges by constructing appropriate guide bunds or retaining walls, and the large sprawling tracts of low-lying areas behind these walls utilized for high-end developments which can make the city rich, beautiful and prosperous. A handful of self-styled environmentalists is stalling this idea. The result is rampant encroachments on the riverbed by jhuggis which catch fire at regular intervals every summer, often burning alive a few people. Sewage and untreated industrial waste are let into the river without treatment and nobody owns up responsibility for the same. The so-called environmentalists are vociferous against clean development schemes which are vital for the city, such as Commonwealth Games Village, Metro constructions, Akshardham Temple, etc. If the Yamuna is to be saved, there is only one way. Control the width of the river, not allowing flood waters to inundate the lowlying areas of the city and allow the river to reach its own natural regime in the constricted width. Model studies in the Central Water and Power Research Institute (CWPRI), Khadakvasala, can validate the philosophy of this argument. Two large longitudinal sewers should be built behind the rampart walls to intercept all the sewage falling into the river, take the sewage to a far-off place, and after proper treatment, let the effluents flow into the river. Industries should treat their effluents before they are let into the river. The lowlying areas behind the masonary embankments should be released for high-end development. A Special Purpose Vehicle (Yamuna Development Authority) should be set up under an Act of Parliament, fully empowered to train the river and to manage the developments on the released lowlying areas. The resources needed for all these can be easily raised by exploiting the released riverbeds. In the development plan, a corridor of 300 metres should be reserved adjacent to the river bank for gardens, promenades and recreation centres. Initially the stretch between Wazirabad barrage and Kalindi Kunj could be taken up for river training, and the project can be extended downstream and upstream in due course. The government has already spent more than Rs 1200 crore for cleaning the river. Where has all this money gone? If development as suggested above can be undertaken, the river can be saved, Yamuna can be made clean and the river-fronts can be made the pride of the city. It is time the government and the judiciary listen to the voice of professionals and not to the vague fears of a few so-called environmentalists. In all great cities located on riverbanks, whether it’s Paris, Budapest, Moscow, New York or Seoul, the river is ‘trained’ with retaining walls and the banks beautified with parks, promenades and landmark buildings Two large longitudinal sewers should be built behind the rampart walls to intercept all the sewage falling into the river, then take it to a far-off place and release the sewage into the river after proper treatment These so-called environmentalists are vociferous against clean development schemes vital for the city, such as the Games Village, Metro, Akshardham Temple. It’s time the govt and judiciary listen to the voice of professionals

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Respect the freedom of expression

We appeal to all those who are reading our blog and are not in a position to accept our views due to political reasons or otherwise to respect the freedom of expression. You are most welcome to comment or give suggestions if you have any.

Reporting spam or taking actions which exposes your cowardice are not welcome and will be dealt with strong reaction from Youth for Justice.

Broaden your mind .

All we can say that you are most welcome to raise your voices for or against our stand on any issue but please also raise your standard and accept that these are our views and we are not imposing our views on any one.

Reporting spam in an act of cowardice.

Respect the freedom of expression.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our PM should be from LOKSABHA only

India is a democratic country and it should be run by democratically elected leaders.

This is the essence of our constitution adopted by people of Indian republic.

We the members of this community demand from our political leadership including all the political parties through President of India that from now onwards India should have a democratically elected person as Prime Minister.

We appeal from the core our hearts to save the spirit of our constitution.

We also would like to make it clear that any attempt against this would face opposition from us and we would not hesitate to take our protest on streets to save the spirit of our great constitution.
Anyone who wishes to lead this great nation as Prime Minister should have guts to face elections should prove his ability to get elected as people's representative in Loksabha.

This is a completely non political community and we do not support or oppose any individuals candidature for the Post of Prime Minister.
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