Celebrating Seeds of Resistance

Women of Adivasi Aikya Vedika -Telangana from districts Asifabad-Komram Bhim, Nagarkurnool, Jayashankar-Bhupalpalli, and Adivasi Aikya Vedika-Andhra Pradesh from districts  East Godavari, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Vishakapatnam and West Godavari; Dalit Mahila Sangham, Medak; Deccani Gorrela Mekala Pempakhadharula Sangham (DGMPS), Medak; Dalit Mahila Sangham, Chittoor and co strugglers celebrated Women’s Day across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

We celebrated the day, resolving to deepen our fight against capitalist patriarchal corporate control, by asserting and defending our collective rights to our lands, forests, water, air, indigenous seeds, animals, diverse food cultures, knowledge systems and local markets towards realising our vision for food sovereignty and social justice.

We collectively identified and visualised through art, the specific forms of violence that exist within our families, our village, our schools, our agriculture fields and forests, the larger society, and shared these with one another.  Our struggle is not an individual one but a collective fight against all forms of structural violence.  We commit to organise around these common concerns, and foster our collective strength to creatively challenge this violence.

Women from the  Food Sovereignty Alliance, joined  women and  women’s movements from across the country in Nagpur on March 10th 2017, at the “Chalo Nagpur” event,  to denounce growing fascism, and the right wing forces of Manuvad and Hindutva, that are in total violation of our constitution. We shared about the growing violence experienced by adivasi women whose territories (land, water, forests, knowledge, local governance systems) are under attack, and whose constitutional rights are being systematically undermined.

Nagarkurnool

Medak and Sangareddy at Kūdali

East Godavari

Asifabad-Komram Bhim

Chalo Nagpur

Newspaper Clippings:

Nagarkurnool

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Vishakapatnam

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Food Sovereignty Jatra

The deliberate dispossession of traditional seeds, practices and knowledge, promoted by agricultural policies, is systematically displacing women as custodians of seeds and sovereign food-farming, and converting them to units of subordinate labour of agri-business and consumers of their agricultural inputs.

In action to reclaim our sovereign food systems, the Food Sovereignty Jatra, started in May 2016, in districts Medak, Sangareddy, East Godavari, Chittoor and Adilabad.

This village to village campaign, generated discussions around ways to secure our seeds, regain control over food, collective farming, right to forest produce, drought resistant food systems and women led strategies towards food sovereignty.

This jatra was a caravan of posters, film screening – ‘ What is Food sovereignty’, animated debate and discussion, signature campaigns against GMO seeds and the growing atrocities against dalit students in universities. Over 1000 kgs of food crop seeds was mobilised by the Alliance and around 300 women exchanged seeds and committed to grow agro-ecologically food crops such as finger millet, traditional maize, sorghum, black gram, green gram, red gram, foxtail millet and pearl millet.

After this year- long effort to grow food crops, currently meetings are being held in villages to build our seed banks in the villages, deliberate on plans for agriculture in the coming season and vision ways in which more women can be involved in strengthening our food systems, knowledge and decision making. This also formed an important part of the conversations of Women’s Day 2017..