BY MEGHA GOSWAMI
Goa has always led the country in taking part in interesting initiatives. The recent example of this has been an incident where 25 year old Aquem-Biaxo sarpanch Siddesh Bhagat has involved the Goan legislators in an exciting task.
He believes that legislators cannot really understand the problems that farmers face if they do not walk in farmers shoes and Goan legislators seem to agree. The culmination of farmer’s issues and their efforts to reach out to legislators has lead to the #FarmingChallenge that has gone viral on the scale of the #HumFitTohIndiaFit challenge.
If the #HumFitTohIndiaFit challenge has had everyone from Virat Kohli to the PM of India uploading their workout videos on social networking sites; the #FarmingChallenge has enticed Goan legislators to take up farming alongside Goa’s farmers; albeit for a short while.
This entire online pro-farmer campaign is the brainchild of Aquem-Biaxo sarpanch Siddesh Bhagat and legislators such as Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte, Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco and Agriculture minister Vijai Sardesai have taken the bait; all for a good cause. In addition to his participation in the challenge; Goa’s Agriculture minister was encouraging of the next generation of farmers taking up mechanical farming.
Siddesh Bhagat kicked of the #FarmingChallenge with an FB post on June 27 stating that legislators could better understand farming practices and the challenges that came with it by stepping out of their offices and onto the fields. “Together we can make a green revolution. (I) request MLAs, ministers and other officials to visit fields in their constituency.”
The challenge has been apparently received quite well. MLA Lourenco was not only happy to get his hands dirty in the fields but also to post pictures of the same on his social media feed at the behest of Siddesh Bhagat. Lourenco’s response to the challenge and his own participation was heartening. “I love the feeling, people want legislators to have a love for farming” he said before passing the challenge on to Revenue minister Khaunte.
Sarpanch and social activist, Siddesh Bhagat is confident about the impact of this online social experiment, stating “In other states, farmers march towards Parliament or assembly for justice, In Goa, let’s make the assembly march towards the fields.”