Sunday, 24 June 2012

Satyamev Jayate : Episode 8 Review

In the eighth episode of Satyamev Jayate, Aamir Khan highlighted the bad effects of chemical farming and pesticides on health. He spoke to doctors, agricultural scientists, farmers and others during the episode.

Aamir very rightly began by asking the ladies present that what food, they thought, was safe and healthy for their family. A majority of the women replied by saying that it’s the fresh, green leafy vegetables that they personally monitored and cooked. Alas! The problem turned out to be much deeper than just selecting fresh fruits and vegetables; and a tricky one too – pesticides!

Dr Mohan Kumar recounted his tale of working in Kasargod. He noticed that an abnormally large number of people suffered from chronic illnesses from a long time. He said that about 5000 people must have been affected. Children suffered from grievous malformations, cancers, deformities, etc.

During the show, many farmers confessed that they do not use these pesticides for the fruits and vegetables they separately grow for their own consumption.

Jurnail Singh a farmer from Jajjal, Punjab claims that access use of pesticides started after the Green Revolution. He said that 45 people from his village have died of cancer in past few years. A train from Bhatinda to Bikaner is called ‘Cancer Train’ by the local people. The number of patients travelling to the cancer hospital in Bikaner is increasing fast.

Rajju Shroff is the managing director and chairman of India’s biggest pesticides company. Aamir was surprised to see his reaction on the show. He said, “People exaggerate about the bad effects of chemical farming to gain publicity.

Aamir tried to highlight the benefits of organic farming and alternate ways of killing insects during the show. From many years, agricultural scientist Dr GV Ramanjaneyulu has been working with the farmers in Andhra Pradesh to teach them cheap and safe ways of getting rid of the insects. He said, “Not pests, but pesticides are a bigger problem for the farmers. On an average, a village spends nearly Rs 50 lakh every year on pesticides.”  Dr Ramoo educated farmers in Andhra Pradesh to adopt a technique that could help them cultivate crops without the use of pesticides.

Aamir pointed at what could be a possible and practical solution – steering a state towards an organic status, like Sikkim. The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Kumar Chamling said that by 2015, Sikkim would become an organic state.

The show then discussed how to get pesticides out of groceries. Soaking with water, rinsing and leeching, washing in brine, all help reduce chemicals.

In the end, Aamir asked viewers all over the country to send in their views on whether they think that all states should follow the example of Sikkim or no.

What do you think about the show. Share with us in comments section. 

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