New Delhi: Did you know that there are 67 types of pesticides which are banned all over the world, but are still used by Indian farmers. Everyday through fruits and vegetables, we consume 400-500 % more pesticides than the permissible limit. Aamir Khan highlighted the bad effects of chemical farming during the eighth episode of his television show ‘Satyamev Jayate’. He spoke to doctors, agricultural scientists, farmers and others during the episode.
To increase productivity, farmers have been using pesticides for agricultural purposes from years now. Because of this, the nutrition value of the crop goes down. Now, these pesticides have become a part of our food chain. According to a study by Dr Rashmi Sanghi, even breast milk contains 400-800% more pesticides than the permissible limits.
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. Non-pesticides users have worse health state. If done in limit, pesticides cause no health problems. The productivity will highly suffer if we stop using pesticides and the farmers will commit suicide.” He also said that DDT is completely harmless.
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.”
Aamir Khan also spoke to Pawan Chamling, chief minister of Sikkim on the show. Chamling has banned all pesticides in the state and is promoting organic farming. He aims to make Sikkim an organic state by 2015. It is not possible for all the states to switch to organic farming overnight, but taking some steps to save people’s life is essential now.
Through his show, Aamir urged audiences to opt for organic products. He also said that there should be a regulating body to monitor the usage of pesticides by the farmers.
As reports claim, the TRPs of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ have started dropping. Is this an indication that Indian audiences only prefer entertainment on small screen? Share your comments on the eighth episode of ‘Satyamev Jayate’.