In the first session, the objective was to educate farmers by connecting with them, understanding their real-life problems in farming, asking them various questions (sources of getting pesticides, quantity of pesticides used, etc.).
In the second session, the VOICE team explained about: a) Effects of pesticides on health and produce, and the long-term deterioration of farm lands/canals/bore wells. b) Organic farming as a practical long-term
alternate to chemical-intensive farming c) Benefits of organic farming for the environment They also went into the details of how long-term use of organic farming could benefit farmers by increasing their income, and how farmers could sell their products and also buy organic seeds.
The third session was interactive and all about questions and answers. For sure, there was sufficient scepticism to handle and address. By giving practical examples from different regions of India where pesticides affected the most and farmers suffered due to health hazards, the VOICE team tried to drive home the facts about various ill effects of pesticides.
VOICE in association with NGO Navdanya distributed organic seeds to at least one member of each family. Farmers were assured of future guidance from the telephonic assistance cell established in the head office of VOICE – support will be provided both during the project and post the project.
While at it, the VOICE team also did their bit to propagate Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign), educating farmers and their families about the importance of cleanliness. The VOICE team informed them about different ways to keep their surroundings clean so as to prevent illness and health hazards, especially for children.