Khedut Chetna Yatra (Farmers’ Awareness Yatra) – farmers’ attempt to wake the slumbering government
In order to give voice to the increasing frustration and anger of the farmers at the various difficulties that they face, the Khedut Chetna Yatra under the banner of “Sanyukt Khedut Sangharsh Samiti-Gujarat” began yesterday from Kalavad in Jamnagar district. The yatra began with a meeting in Sardar Chowk in Kalavad. Around 1,000 farmers had gathered to lend support to the yatra and show their solidarity with the cause.
The meeting began with an address by Sagar Rabari, Secretary of Khedut Samaj – Gujarat. He outlined the 2 draconian legislations of Gujarat viz. the SIR Act 2009 and the Gujarat Drainage and Irrigation Act, 2013 and how they would spell doom for farmers. He also drew the attention of the farmers to the unwritten policy of the GoG of depriving the farmers of Narmada waters for irrigation through decommanding of the command areas, thereby forcing the helpless farmers to part with their land.
Dahyabhai Gajera of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha alerted farmers to the gameplan of the GoI of sacrificing the interests of farmers in order to attract international capital and called upon them to organise and unite in their struggle against this.
Chandubhai Shingala of Saurashtra Ladat Samiti brought attention to the low procurement prices of cotton and groundnut in the last season which led many farmers to commit suicide, the long pending electricity connections and the anti-farmer policies of the government.
Manubhai Chavda highlighted how the present government was duping the farmers after a misleading pre-election campaign in the name of Lord Ram and ‘culture’. He called upon the farmers to look through the machinations and double-speak of the government and use their wisdom in the forthcoming local level elections. The best option, according to him, was to kick out those who have shown an anti-farmer dispensation.
The meeting was also addressed by Bhikhabhai Bamaniya, Bharatsinh Vala and Bharatsinh Jhala. Farmer leaders like Rameshbhai Virani, Pinakbhai Dhamelia and several others were also present. The editor of Bhoomiputra Rajnibhai Dave was also present at the occasion. The meeting was conducted by Pravinbhai.