SRISTI’s 32nd Shodhyatra took place from December 29,2013 to January 1, 2014 over 80 kms starting from Nirmal Kuteya in Sultanpur Lodi to Seechewal.
This time the Shodhyatra is also a tribute to the efforts of Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal who mobilized local communities to clean the Kali bein river when state and the legal systems proved inadequate in the matter.
About the Shodhyatra
The Shodhyatra is a learning walk is organised by SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions),Ahmedabad, supported by various sister institutions of the Honey bee Network in particular National Innovation Foundation. The purpose is to learn from four teachers, one within, one around, one in nature and one among common people.
Twice a year, the ShodhYatra takes place in different parts of the country, with support of the Honey Bee Network. The aim of this yatra is to felicitate creative people at their doorsteps. The yatris learn from the wisdom of local communities,grassroots innovators, traditional knowledge holders, students with innovative ideas and other individual change agents making significant contribution to society in conserving bio‐diversity, promoting educational innovations, supporting cultural creativity, revitalizing local institutions etc.
Biodiversity, and idea competitions are organized among children and recipe contests are organized among local women in some of the villages. Special attention is paid to recipes with at least one less known or uncultivated plant as an ingredient).
The Shodhyatra helps in reaching out to remote and neglected parts of the country with a firm belief that natural and social hardships and challenges are the prime triggers for creativity and innovation. Traditional knowledge and grassroots innovations are scouted and disseminated that have not only simplified the lives of men, women and farm labourers but have also significantly contributed toward the conservation of biodiversity and other natural resources and environmental quality. More details
Below are some of the snapshots of this year’s winter shodhyatra through Prof Anil K Gupta’s eyes and camera.
December 29, 2013
Too much use of fertilisers has caused canals to be full of Water Hyacinth.
A mobile sugarcane juicer was spotted
In spite of all the green revolution fuelled growth, the farmers in Punjab do not use any safety masks or other safety gear. The policymakers are concerned about the agricultural produce but health of the farmer is, apparently, not a priority.
The first innovator on this yatra is found, Sukhwinder Singh has developed a sowing machine for gladiolus bulbs. The idea came about when they saw a video of a big expensive machine. They developed a small frugal machine affordable to local farmers.
The menace of drug addiction is quite rampant in these regions. The yatris stopped by a Gurudwara in Bussowal village and learned about the local agriculture, crafts and social problems. They were informed that even 6 year old children were addicted to drugs and then these addicts became agents to spread the menace further.
They also learned about traditional practices here. A plant of Brassicaceae family was used to cure many ailments.
Paramjit Kaur diplayed a basket of straw and her daughter-in-law Satwinder displayed beautiful flowers that can be seen below
In Bhago Buddha village, the yatris savoured various local dishes.
The yatris also discovered a cycle based hoe in Bhago Buddha village, similar to what Gopal Bhise developed in Jalgaon, Maharashtra.
At night in Khurd Ali Kalan village, yatris and villagers held a discussion on how to make enriched organic fertilisers.