Beej Bachao Andolan is a non-formal collective of small farmers and activists. There is a core group of individuals recognized as representing the movement and there is Henwalghati (the Henwal river valley) that is considered its place of origin and major action. Other than that, Beej Bachao Andolan is more a philosophy, a thought, a concept that can be accepted and practiced by just about anyone and any group.
In its efforts to further its philosophy, and certainly to go beyond its limited physical resources, we have initiated an informal network of a couple of organizations and groups in Uttarakhand. This network does not have any name, at least not yet; and it is not fund-driven. It is primarily four groups which believe in the idea of seed and food sovereignty, local food system conservation and related issues that have been the concern of small farmers and voiced by Beej Bachao Andolan. Continue reading →
Social worker and farmer activist Vijay Jarhdhari of Beej Bachao Andolan (Uttarakhand) has been given the prestigious “Indira Gandhi Priyadardarshini Environment Award” by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. The award, carrying a silver lotus plaque and cash prize of Rs 3 Lakhs (Rs 3,00,000/-, approximately US$ 5500, at current exchange), was presented to him at a special ceremony in New Delhi on Environment Day, 5 June 2012, when a special biodiversity train was also flagged off. In the next three years, the train carrying the message of biodiversity conservation will travel all over India. Continue reading →
Over a hundred participants from 22 countries in Asia and the Pacific (including two from Europe and one from the US) representing peasants, small farmers, agricultural workers, women, indigenous peoples, fisherfolk organizations, and health, environmental and consumers CSOs attended the three-day Conference “Confronting Food Crisis and Climate Change” organized by Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific, in Penang (Malaysia) on 27-29 September 2008. The conference culminated with a Unity Statement declaring the participants’ commitment to claim people’s right to food, to work together in regenerating nature and society, as well as, to further strengthen and consolidate the movements in advancing food sovereignty, gender justice and climate justice. Beej Bachao Andolan was represented at the Conference by Vijay Jarhdhari and Renu Thakur (ARPAN, Pithoragarh). Jarhdhari made a presentation “Food and Climate Crisis in Central Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India”. Renu presented the women’s perspectives on climate change at the various workshops held during the Conference.
Beej Bachao Andolan had its annual gathering of friends and farmers on 17-19 May 2008.
The subject for this year’s discussion was “Kheti par maar – Van pashu, mausam aur sarkar“. In English, this would roughly translate as “The attack on farming – wild animals, climate and the government”.
Combat Law Vol 6 Issue 4, July – August 2007
The struggle for human rights is far from over in the new state of Uttarakhand. Suresh Nautiyal reports on the local organisations’ strong will to pressurise the government to respect human rights and protect the environment through sustainable management of natural resources, for their unrestricted exploitation is detrimental to human rights.
QUOTE – “Any debate is incomplete without the mention of ecological issues and rights of the local people concerning the state. No wonder this was one of the main focus areas of the workshop for the simple reason that we cannot have progress and development at the cost of human being and their rights, particularly in the ecologically fragile regions like Uttarakhand. Also, democracy cannot be an effective tool to reflect peoples’ will as long as there is a threat to ecology and to their rights, given their inter-linkages.”