Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Where is the Food?

India is fifteenth from the bottom as far as nutrition levels of children are concerned as calculated on the basis of being underweight. Stunting due to lack of nutrition is also a serious problem. Per capita food availability is going down despite an increase in overall food production. Thus, there is a serious problem of nutrition deficiency for a very large number of people in this country and especially children right from the womb onwards. This is of course related to the crisis of agriculture in India resulting from the adoption of chemical agriculture as opposed to organic agriculture and so as long as huge subsidies continue to be given to chemical agriculture there is not much hope of tackling this problem in a sustainable manner.
One patchwork solution is to provide nutritional supplements to children through the Integrated Child Development Scheme in the Anganwadis and the Midday Meal Scheme in Schools and provide Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres for the treatment of the severely malnourished children who are on the verge of death. However, in remote areas this patchwork system also does not work. Recently there were deaths of five children in Vakvi village in Alirajpur due to there being so weak that their immune system did not work efficiently enough when they were struck by malaria. The Khedut Mazdoor Chetna Sangath immediately brought the matter to the notice of the administration and a medical team was rushed to the village. The medical team first went by a particular route and could not reach the village because there was no motorable road to it from the Madhya Pradesh side. They had to then go via Gujarat to the village.
Given this sorry state of the State apparatus the KMCS undertakes its own nutrition rehabilitation programme wherein severely grade three malnourished children are identified and provided with nutritional supplements over an extended period of time to rehabilitate them. Below is the picture of Dhudhria in Akdia village at the beginning of the year when his weight was only  8.1 kgs when it should have been more than 9 kgs.
However thereafter the KMCS provided his family with support for feeding him well and explained the various measures that had to be taken to improve his nutritional level. As a result in September his weight had increased to 11.3 kgs. The difference in health is visible from the picture below. 
 These are all half measures and will not be able to solve the large scale problem of food scarcity that sits like a curse on the poor in this country and denies them nutritional justice. So the KMCS programme of action consists of improving the livelihoods of the people in Alirajpur so that they can access more food themselves without having to rely on doles from various Government or Non-Government agencies.

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