Community producer Neetu interviewing a woman farmer

Community producer Neetu interviewing a woman farmer

Waqt Ki Awaaz 91.2 FM, the community radio station operating from Metha block, Kanpur Rural which is supported by Shramik Bharati, has steadily grown to become a part of the community it serves ever since its inception. With its growing acceptance,
the station found itself to be shouldering increasing responsibility towards the community. To fully comprehend the needs of the community, the team from ‘Waqt
Ki Awaaz’ travelled across villages to study and assess the situation of the farmers, who are the food producers for the entire country. Why do the farmers feel that agriculture is a nonprofitable trade? Are the increasing investments and dwindling returns
discouraging them? How are they losing ownership of their own farm lands? Why have the indigenous seeds become unavailable? How did the once fertile land turn barren?
What are the reasons for decreasing health conditions of people and increasing illnesses?

Community producer Somnath interviewing a farmer on sustainable practices

Community producer Somnath interviewing a farmer on sustainable practices

While on the quest to find answers to these questions it became clear that there was only one solution for betterment – returning back to the traditional agricultural knowledge and practices. The effectiveness of this age old method was evident from the fact that then the soil was not lethal, the produce was not lost to insects or infections, and the environment was safe and unpolluted. To bring back the traditional agricultural practices, a special 40 episode programme was produced titled Me Uthta Hilor’ (A Surge of Feelings in the Heart). This programme took a year for its production and saw active participation from the youth in the villages making very unique. Following the completion of its first series in 2011, it was narrow cast across villages. Realising its potential in educating the farmers and increasing their knowledge base, the Gyan Vani also started to broadcast them.

This gave rise to a new beacon of light for the farmers to adopt their traditional agricultural practices once again by which the hope of “healthy soil and healthy population” can become a reality. ‘Jiya Me Uthta Hilor’ programme was found to be helpful and effective for the farmers. To date about 75 to 80 farmers from 15 villages in the Metha block are using fertilisers from cow dung, neem flower buds, neem oil, and techniques such as crop rotation, maintaining adequate distance between crops, ensuring non-wastage and preservation of seeds. To ensure that the programme has a wider reach among farmers, it was broadcast weekly through ‘Waqt Ki Awaaz’ FM from June 13, 2013. Women have participated in this programme actively from making compost pits to making ‘Amrut Pani’ an  organic growth promoter, to ensure they have an equal opportunity in contributing to the food production of the country.

Rakesh Kumar Pandey
Sr. Manager (Programmes)
Shramik Bharti
(Translated by Lauella Amy)