Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Puja Exhibition

Originally uploaded by dalbhat.
Puja is the shopping season in Kolkata and many NGOs organize events. Last weekend, Sept 16-17-18, the women at Ankur Kala opened up their training center for an Open House-cum-Exhibition. They invited other organizations to exhibit and sell their work too. Groups that particpated included Asha Niketan, Mass Welfare Society, Paripurnata Half-Way Home, and Indian Council of Rehabilitation & Sports for the Disabled.

This photo shows the patua folkartist Karuna Chitrakar entertaining both the hosts and guests with her beautiful songs and pictures. Ankur Kala hopes to learn about this traditional art and adopt some of the designs for their own products.

I hope this sort of networking expands and grows even stronger in the NGO sector here.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Balia Bio-Agro Mission

Originally uploaded by dalbhat.
The man on the right is Tarun Bhaduri, who is supporting farmers in Balia (located about 2 hours north of Kolkata) to make the changeover to organic farming. His organization is called Balia Bio-Agro Mission. The man on the left is currently working on developing herbal insecticides. At the Farm Weekends at SASHA, this group is supplying city consumers with healthy organic rice varieties, dal varieties, mushrooms, and spices.

Mr. Bhaduri became interested in bio-farming through a very personal experience. When he was hospitalized for by-pass surgery many of the farmers donated blood to keep him going. Two years later when flooding created havoc in this area the farmers turned to him for advice. He told them to work from their own stocks of seeds and fertilizers and don't go into debt. This is when they began to practice natural methods -- and once things had gone back to normal, the farmers themselves pressed for his support in bio-farming. This exercise brough out of necessity made them understand that bio-farming could bring high yields and did not damage the environment like chemicals did.

Balia Bio-Agro Mission products will be on sale on a regular basis at SASHA. It is up to consumers to decide what sort of farming they want their money to support.

( An organization for Organic & Sustainable farming and Social Welfare)
Regd. under Society Registration Act 1961 of Govt. of West Bengal
PH.NO - 03473-248631 / E mail Id - tarun_bhaduri@sify.com