Mahima Research Foundation and Social welfare
194, Karaundi, BHU, Varanasi-221005
Annual Report of Financial Year 2011-2012
Annual meeting of the Mahima Research Foundation and Social welfare was held on 3rd April 2012. The detail activities of the financial year 2011-2012 were discussed with the participants due the meeting. On 12th June 2011, the foundation organizes the meeting of “Kishan Samridhi Gosthi” in office of the Mahima Research Foundation and Social Welfare, Karaundi, Varanasi. Ratnesh Kumar Rao informed that the agriculture forms the backbone of Indian Economy and more than 70% of the population of this country depends on this sector for its livelihood. Even after 60 years of planning and giving utmost importance to programmes of industrialization approximately 60% of the working population was engaged in agriculture in 2011 and this sector contributed more than 50% of national income. Thus we can say that agricultural development is the sinequanon of economic development and without it all talk of economic progress is meaningless and futile. And when we talk of agricultural development we imply the development of the whole rural sector in an integrated way and not merely increase in agricultural production and productivity.
On 26-27 November 2011, the foundation organized two day National Conference “Controlling Environmental Pollution through Water Conservation for Sustainable Development” on 26-27 December, 2011 at Seminar Hall, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Faculty of Arts, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi partially sponsored by Council of Scientific Industrial Research, (CSIR), Govt. of India, New Delhi and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Govt. of India, New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Chief Guest Prof. R. P. Singh, Department of Genetics and Plant Breading, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. In this National conference free training and guidance were given to the 220 participant’s (farmers, teachers and students) on 26th November 2011 at 9.00 AM.
On 28th January 2011, the foundation organized the meeting on “Mahila Sashaktikaran” at Seminar Hall, Mahima Research Foundation and Social welfare, 194, Karaundi, BHU, Varanasi Mr. Ratnesh Kumar Rao, Secretary, Mahima Research Foundation and Social Welfare said that it is well known that economic system of any country from times immemorial, has needed and also benefited by the help, cooperation and participation of women in the world of work. Since, primitive times, when man lived on hunting down to the present 21st century, women have often been found to cooperate with men in the economic front which gradually created a distinct class of employed women in contemporary society. It was also observed that the gaps between rural and urban female literacy rates are narrowing down. It was observed that rural poverty acts as a push factors for women’s education rather than as an obstacle to women’s education. The significant influence of urbanization on women’s education implied that urbanization had been playing a beneficial role in the attainment of women’s education in India. At the same time, the drop-out rate had a negative effect on women’s education. It revealed that that reduction of girl’s drop-out rates is necessary for achieving women’s education. Dr. Jayakant Kumar, Department of Social Science, Patana University, Patna said that democratic politics is one of the most coveted invention of human beings. Human society has struggled since ancient times to achieve the goal of Democracy. It is applicable not only for men but also for women. Women should not be deprived in any matter. If the society is based on patriarchal values, her values in male dominated society are to provide only to take care of the family and home within the walls of the boundary. The poor women provide economic force i.e. source of income to the lower class but, as they are illiterate, they lack political consciousness or awareness. Collective empowerment through representation and democratic process will give them voice, feelings of solidarity and democratic politics. Affirmative action will build a critical mass of local leadership of such groups will be active participants in the strategic decision-making. If the women’s political awareness is taken into consideration, the rural urban dichotomy must be seen. The prevalent trend of migration from rural to urban areas is related to women migration also. This migration process has resulted in growing women’s role in politics in Bihar. Not only this, the all round development which has taken place during last four decades has also created scope of greater women’s participation in political activities. However, in the present study their level of political roles will be judged by electoral participation figures.
It has been found that usually these are young women of 25-45 years of age. 25% of the women had previous political experience. The pattern caste representation was the same as before the constitutional change, 65% of the elected representative whether men or women were from dominant caste. Most of the women elected were illiterate and above all the majority of women declared themselves as homemakers. She found that women’s experience of Panchayat Raj institution has transformed many of them. The elements of this transformation include empowerment, self-confidence, political awareness and affirmation of information. We cannot expect more morality from an educated fellow as now we are facing so much corruption at the high level. Another instance can be taken to prove my stand that the women Sarapanch of the Panchayat denied to open the Panchayat office and made logical argument before the collector demanding more relief for the Panchayat.
On 9th February 2012, the foundation organized the Awareness Programme of “Organic Farming” at Narottampur and Jakhani Village of Varanasi District. In this programme Ratnesh Kumar Rao, Secretary, Mahima Research Foundation and Social welfare said that climate change is one of the complex problems facing mankind today. It has engaged the attention of the world and is an issue under intense debate. Already observed changes are average higher temperatures and melting of polar ice sheets with floods downstream, rising sea levels, increased pest incidence, increased vector borne diseases and increased cyclones and tidal waves. Thus resulting in food insecurity, water scarcity, sea level rise, floods, droughts, increased occurrence of diseases such as malaria, etc. arc the potential climate change threats. The frequent climate change, particularly low rainfall and warming has posed serious threat to sustainable agriculture. Agricultural drought occurs when there is insufficient soil moisture to meet the needs of a particular crop at a particular time. A deficit of rainfall over cropped areas during critical periods of the growth cycle can result in destroyed or underdeveloped crops with greatly depleted yields.
On 26th February 2012, the foundation organized Workshop on “Organic Farming” at Seminar Hall, Mahima Research Foundation and Social welfare, 194, Karaundi, BHU, Varanasi. It was inaugurated by Chief Guest Dr. Sunil Kumar Dubey, Director, Manas, Varanasi. In this workshop free training and guidance were given to the 80 participant’s farmers on 26th February 2012 at 9.00 AM. Dr. Dubey said that Agriculture of any kind is strongly influenced by the availability of water. Climate change will have an impact on the predictability and variability in the availability of water and also increase in frequencies of droughts and floods. Worst suffers would be farmers of the rain fed agriculture. The risk of crop failures will increase in semi-arid zone with prolonged dry seasons forcing people to migrate, when stability of food production can not be assured. The demand for water for irrigation is projected to rise in a warmer climate, bringing increased competition between agriculture-already the largest consumer of water resources in semiarid regions and urban as well as industrial users. Falling water tables and the resulting increase in the energy needed to pump water will make the practice of irrigation more expensive, particularly when with drier conditions more water will be required per acre. Peak irrigation demands are also predicted to-rise due to more severe heat waves. Additional investment for darns, reservoirs, canals, wells, pumps, and piping may be needed to develop irrigation networks in new locations. Finally, intensified evaporation will increase the hazard of salt accumulation in the soil. Studies on the impact of global warming conducted in Andhra Pradesh indicates the rise in temperature will lead to an increase in water requirement of crops like maize, ground nut, pigeon pea and cotton, through their growing duration will decrease by one to two weeks.
Secretary of the foundation said that higher air temperatures will also be felt in the soil, where warmer conditions are likely to speed the natural decomposition of organic matter and to increase the rates of other soil processes that affect fertility.
Mrs. Urmila Rao, President, Mahima Research Foundation and Social welfare said that there is a need to integrate this indigenous knowledge with the scientific knowledge and formulating policies which actively involve local communities in change discourse and which secure their entitlements to self-determination, land, natural resources, information, education, health services, and food. Besides, the empowerment of the existing institutions, building awareness of traditional adaptation and mitigation strategies, improving the social and physical infrastructure, enhancing livelihood diversification, ensuring the conservation of natural resources and biological diversity and promoting collaborative research are essential parameters to avoid the potential impact of climate change on agriculture.
On 30th March 2012, the foundation organized Workshop on “Organic Farming” at Seminar Hall, Mahima Research Foundation and Social welfare, 194, Karaundi, BHU, Varanasi. It was inaugurated by Chief Guest Dr. Snehlata, Bihar University, Bihar. In this workshop free training and guidance were given to the 100 participant’s farmers of Mirzapur, Chandauli and Varanasi district on 30th March 2012 at 11.00 AM. Dr. Snehlata said that India is provided with a broad spectrum of bio-diversity in plants genetic resources and is to be recognized as one of the world’s top twelve mega diversity nations. It occupies rich flora that include about 45,000 species and many are recognized with medicinal value. More than 15,000 species are used in different systems of health care in Asia (8,000 in India and 7,000 in China). Therefore efforts are required to develop techniques for in-situand ex-situcultivation of such medicinal plants which have been over harvested resulting in low density of these species in nature. Cultivation of such species could reduce the pressure on the natural habitat and will meet the market demand. The cultivation of highly demanded medicinal plants can help for economic development of rural population and also help for use of wastelands, provide employment and income, supplying adequate raw materials for the medicine manufacturing firms and development of double cropping system by mixing medicinal plants with other crops like vegetables, gram, pea, maize and millet etc. At present time cultivation of medicinal plants is not enough supported with good agricultural practices like organic cultivation, sustainable harvest, maturity level of harvesting and season of collection and the preferred habitat for cultivation? Although few institutions involved in development of medicinal plants sector in India.
Ratnesh Kumar Rao, Secretary, Mahima Research Foundation and Social welfare said that irrigation is the most important input required for the successful Farming. Adoption of modern techniques and intensification of Agriculture are not possible unless adequate irrigation facilities are available. The variations in the levels of agricultural performance are significantly associated with inequalities where intensity of irrigation is hardly under 20.00 percent to over 80 percent, it fails and productivity and the degree of mechanization. As the population grew the demand of food also increased. The increased demand of food forced the human beings to develop technologies for enhancing crop productivity. New high yielding varieties, inorganic fertilizers and new improved implements were developed. Growing food demand under limited resource constraint is adoption of such technology which can help boost the production and improve the input use efficiency. Main reason for low productivity in this low lying belt was lack of awareness about improved science and technology and the resource constraints due to poor economic conditions of the farmers.
Mrs. Urmila Rao, President, Mahima Research Foundation and Social welfare said that the impact of organic agriculture on natural resources favours interactions within the agro-ecosystem those are vital for both agricultural production and nature conservation. Ecological services derived include soil farming and conditioning, soil stabilization through buffering and structural improvement, waste recycling, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, predation, pollination and habitats. The environmental costs of conventional agriculture are substantial, and the evidence for significant environmental amelioration via conversion to organic agriculture is over-whelming. There are also high pre-consumer human health costs to conventional agriculture, particularly, in the use of pesticides.
This immense commercialization of agriculture has also had a very negative effect on the environment. The use of pesticides has led to enormous levels of chemical buildup in our environment, in soil, water, air, in animals and even in our own bodies. Fertilizers have a short-term effect on productivity but a longer-term negative effect on the environment where they remain for years after leaching and running off, contaminating ground water and water bodies.
(Ratnesh Kumar Rao)
Mahima Research Foundation and Social Welfare,
194, Karaundi, BHU, Varanasi