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Satyamev Jayate: Aamir Khan takes on 'Toxic food, Toxic humanity'

June 25, 2012 04:24:56 PM IST
updated June 26, 2012 11:27:40 AM IST
By Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial
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Trust Aamir Khan to turn focus once again on an issue that has been plaguing the nation for quite a long time but voice is not being articulated on it in an organized manner to address the issue. The issue that Aamir Khan focused on in the eighth episode was on the pesticides in the food and dairy products that we consume. Indeed, the situation has reached alarming levels and though various television channels through scores of programmes have been trying to focus upon the issue, an Aamir Khan through his programme has brought back the issue for discourse in public realm in a concerted manner.

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The debate would always go on whether the amount of pesticides that are put in various food products to increase productivity serve there purpose at all. The crux of the argument lies in the fact that the farmers have still not been made aware about the quantum of pesticides and insecticides that they should put into their crops, apart from the quantity of fertilizer that is required. What escaped the attention of the research team of Satyamev Jayate production was to focus on soil testing. After all, it is the soil which is being subjected to all forms of abuse whether it is in the form of excess chemicals, over watering, excess fertilizers, burning of the standing crops etc. If one has to really bring a sense of semblance to the quantity of pesticides being put into the soil, one needs to start advocating about soil testing in a big way.

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As it was brought out during the course of the programme, the pesticides found in mother's milk, as per the study undertaken at IIT Kanpur has gone up to 80%. Imagine the amount of pesticides being transferred to the infant through the milk. What has also not been covered during the programme is the number of fetal deaths that is happening in the case of bovine animals owing to the quantum of pesticides they consume through fodder, and the bovine animals also turning sterile and going berserk as well. It is not only the humans who are getting affected, but the mute animals, who cannot express their state of affairs as well.

A village of the acreage of 1 lakh hectares uses pesticides of more than Rs. 50 lakh market value. Imagine the kind of financial costs that a farmer is incurring and the debt that he is accumulating. There is a way out, as it has been shown during the programme to gradually shift to organic farming. But the shifting means that farmer would have to leave soil barren for a crop cycle, which a farmer would not be able to do unless he is provided an incentive to shift over. Sikkim as a state has taken the lead and it aims to become a totally organic farming state by 2015. If Sikkim can do it, why not other states in the country?

The change would be ushered in with the change of mindset. The mindset is yet to change manifest from the comment of a participant that the price of organic vegetables and fruits is high so they cannot afford it. But the moot point is, if one can afford a designer outfit worth Rs. 5000 without dropping an eyelid, why not spend that amount for the sake of health. If the health is not there, how will the designer cloth be adorned on the body?

As Aamir Khan said during the course of programme government needs to take initiative to set up offices and testing labs in all the mandis to check the levels of toxicity of the produce arriving. When we have already done it for the exports of farm produce then why should it not be done for the citizens of the country as well? Government better do it, or else Aamir Khan may take a petition to the government on the matter. May be, he should undertake it, to create a momentum so that the future generations lead a healthy normal life.


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