Organic Inspiration |
Annadana > Organic Inspiration

Organic Inspiration by Sangita Sharma

Decades of corporate affairs and coveted posts assured all opulence, but could hardly fill that inner void, that yearning to connect with the absolute, the immensity. It was then that I had to make a choice. If you have ever had that one decisive moment, when you had to make a choice that would define your life and give it a purpose…then what could it be? It was that moment that churned and triggered me to action.
Sangita learning from her skilled farmer teacher
A dawning: I realised it all begins with the ‘seed’, the kernel of life, the origin of our food chain. If the seed gets contaminated, the impact it has on our health and environment can be quite disastrous. The outcome is rampant disease which is exactly the state of affairs in India! Seed is the most unassuming potent gift of life, sacred to me. Moreover, if I could promote corporate visionaries, then why not farmer’s who once were the backbone of our economy? In 2001, when I relocated, I shifted my energies from the corporate world to educate myself in low cost sustainable farming practices in my parents 9 acre field. Heritage seeds are genetically diverse treasures that have been passed on from generation to generation. When you buy and plant heritage seed you are helping to protect this valuable resource for the future. Unfortunately, all is not well in our planet. The loss of genetic seed diversity facing us today could easily lead to a catastrophe far beyond our imagination.
Because for far too long, human beings have thought that the Earth is for us alone, that the co-existence of species is not a factor in our well-being. We destroy conditions for life in lots of ways. We devise means of exterminating those forms of life we don’t happen to like, willfully ignoring the ‘web’ of life and its inter-dependence.
My fascination for farming was to eradicate my doubts on the sustainability of farming and that was possible by practicing it, then sharing my findings to agriculturists, policy makers, and researchers. The green revolution has clipped the freedom of our farmers into dependency on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, hybrid seeds and now GMO seeds. My research on heritage seeds gave me an insight into the corporate shallowness and the truth that the seed corporations are driven by greed and profits.
After my eye-opening tryst with farming, the aim was to conserve the seed – that led to the birth of Annadana Soil and Seed Savers Trust with the purpose to safeguard the farmers and make them seed autonomous. Biodiversity is a planetary heritage, which is the fruit of the work of hundreds of generations of rural farmers. This heritage does not belong to anyone in particular: it is a legacy for the future. Seeds cannot be imprisoned by the yoke of legality to be patented by laboratories, to be modified or to be sterilised by any transnational. Seeds belong to no one: they are the gift of Life to itself.
Today, in our certified 5 acre organic agro ecology farm, a commune of 18 farmers and 4 experts we eat what we grow, seasonal only, in other words we take charge of our food. We grow millets, cereals, grains, lentils, fruits, herbs and vegetables. We delight in fresh dairy produce, bake our biscuits, cake, bread and indulge in farm fresh salads galore. Our farmers the most important stake holders drive our operation. This knowledge research platform serves students, interns and visitors who train with us from all walks! We spread the awareness through my campaign ‘Our Right to safe Food’ to consumers from all walks in life be it urban or rural. It is so gratifying to wake up to the melodious sounds of nature. She does not demand unlike a corporate. When you nurture her with compassion and care daily, her gentle commands guide you whether she is sprightly or gloomy, warm or cold, angry or happy… whilst doing my rounds at the crack of dawn of my fields; I abide by her, observe and listen. Such joy to closely admire the seeds of life that germinate without any conditions or clauses only bearing a vast biodiversity of nutritious, healthy fruit. It’s high time that we answer the clarion call for action that would reverberate into the future to help the human race and protect nature from extinction. We are in the heart of new age extinction where everyday we are losing 150 to 200 species of superior plants and animals. It is my vision to awaken the minds from the armour of ignorance, enabling knowledge sharing and I would exhort all to join us in this mission. Plant the seeds of consciousness, evoke an emotion of giving and revive the vibrancy of life, going by the law of abundance. You can ‘choose’ to make a difference in your own lives, your health and the lives of others too……