Food is being made by scientists and not by nature anymore.

  54 (Goal: 100,000)

Petitioning: Prime Minister of India, Home minister, Agriculture Minister

Petitioner: Vishruti started on September 7, 2017

Food is being made by scientists and not by nature anymore.

Food is being made by scientists and not by nature anymore.

When we are eating food that is made from hybrid seeds or GMO (Genetically Modified) seeds, then we are eating food made by man – not by nature.

We are a group of 5 children aged 6 to 9. We want to be able to freely access Chemical Free Food and are unable to find that kind of food easily or at easily affordable rates. We want to know why our food has been tampered with.

We did a little research and found out that there are 3 main types of seeds that grows our food – heirloom seeds, hybrid seeds and GMO seeds. This is also in the order of what is good for us health wise, with heirloom being the best, GMO being the worst and hybrid being somewhere in between.

The hybrid seeds have 2 main issues – one is that it needs excessive use of chemicals in the form of pesticides or fertilizers to help it grow and the second is that the seeds from hybrid plants cannot be used to grow new plants as they are either sterile or they may produce plants that will give an entirely different kind of a produce in comparison to its parent plant.

The excessive use of chemicals in hybrid seeds farming is affecting the health of the farmers who spray these chemicals as well as us, who eat this produce. There have been many researches that have been done on the ill effects of the chemicals used in hybrid seed farming.

The monoculture part of hybrid seeds is the cause of the suicides of farmers who are debt ridden. There have been many researches supporting this as well.

We are grateful that you haven’t allowed GMO into all of our foods yet. Our heartfelt Gratitude to you for keeping this yet another deadly innovation of science away from our plates. We hope that GMO never comes into our foods or even the food that our next generation and the generations after that and so on, will eat.

We believe that nature provides us enough, while hybrids and GMOs provide us excess.

We have bought onions and tomatoes at Rs. 100 a kg because of supposed shortage of food. Whereas at the same time, farmers have been shown dumping their excess produce of tomatoes on television. This is the hybrid tomato.

The last thing we need is to provide excess to those who have the money to buy while the poor are still hungry.

So, we used our little brains to think of ways which could help you with these problems without having to compromise on the healthfulness of our food. And we came up with the idea that you can empower people to grow their own vegetables in whatever space they have, while you provide them with the necessary resources and technology at subsidized rates. And along with empowering, comes the setting in of a new law, so that the people wake up to the benefits of your policy.

These are some points we came up with, which can be applied to metro cities and some other big cities. It could probably be applied to all cities in India as well, but you will know that better. We know that Sikkim has turned completely organic, with Kerala, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh trying to follow its footsteps. So if you have a mix of the ideas presented below, we are sure that entire India can one day eat Chemical Free Food.

These are our ideas that can help empower people to grow their own vegetables:

1. We have plenty of natural resources like sunlight, water and air. We also have plenty of space to grow vegetables and fruits – in private spaces. So, you could make a policy, where, in every society that is being constructed, a certain percentage of the floor area (terrace area) as well as the open ground area has to be dedicated to grow seasonal fruits and vegetables. This produce can then be sold to the residents through a shop within the premises.

Terrace gardening, hydroponics, vertical gardening etc can be used in big ways here for the common good of all the residents. Also, the garden spaces can be used for growing fruit trees as well as for composting. There are many individuals as well as institutions that are working on promoting this. Collaborations at government level can be done with them to take this ahead. Maybe one day our little brothers and sisters won’t have to learn about fruits and vegetables from books anymore. They can watch them grow right in their gardens.

2. This policy of growing fruits and vegetables in the private space should also extend to schools, where learning to grow vegetables and composting should be made a compulsory part of the curriculum and schools should also dedicate a percentage of their space for fruit and vegetable gardening. The produce can be used in the school canteens or sold in a shop within or outside the premises.

Imagine how wonderful it will be for the children to know how to grow their own food!

3. All the hotels and resorts must also dedicate a portion of their space for growing vegetables, which they can use in-house. Most of them have plenty of terrace space or open areas for the same. Maybe you can give them an extra star or a special name for using Chemical Free Vegetables grown within the premises (like we have accreditation as 5 stars and ecotels).

4. Provide easy information and resources to people who are willing to grow vegetables and fruits in their own home gardens. You can provide them with soil and soil testing, compost (compost makers are even better), heirloom seeds, technology and so on, in subsidised rates, just like food is provided at subsidised rates in ration shops.

5. The farmers who grow vegetables from heirloom seeds, organically and naturally, can be given subsidies and further support, to bring down the prices of such vegetables.

6. Supermarkets and vegetables shops must have a clear marking distinguishing food that is grown with the help of chemicals and food grown without the use of chemicals. Companies that produce organic and natural foods market them with organic and natural written in bold over the packaging. But we must have a clear standard marking that distinguishes food that has used chemicals in any stage of its growth and food that is completely chemical free. Just like we have a clear mark that distinguishes veg and non veg, or we have colour coding on toothpastes for the amount of chemicals used in it, we should have a clear mark for food grown with chemicals and food grown without chemicals.

7. Hold farmers markets in every 20/ 30 sqkm, where farmers who are producing Chemical Free Vegetable produce can sell their produce daily. Provide them with the necessary infrastructure for the same. You could use existing Government spaces such as ration shops, government schools and so in non-functional time for the sale of such produce.

Dear Prime minister Sir, we believe that if the shortage of food is the reason why we have to eat food laced with chemicals, then maybe it’s time to make a change. So our next point is:

8. We see that food is being wasted everywhere in the country in a huge way. Restaurants and parties are one of the biggest areas of food wastage. As a government that is ‘for the people’, can you help reduce the wastage here? Can you channel the excess food to the hungry people? Or put some kind of a penalty for excessive wastage of food? We know that there are food ATMS being installed in some places in India, where excessive food can be left for the needy. Can we not do this at a government level in every 1 sq km? Just as money ATMS are there everywhere, food and water ATMs should also be made common.

Whatever change has to happen, must begin from us. We are ready to make that change happen, but we need your support. Please do not allow unscrupulous people to mess with our food. Please put a policy/ law in place where the above points can be covered and help empower people so that they can grow their own vegetables which are chemical free.

Instead of companies selling hybrid seeds at high prices we can have companies and even farmers who can sell heirloom seeds at lower prices. Safe organic pesticides and fertilizers are already in use. They can be promoted. Make the technology of hydroponics easily available at subsidized rates. It can be the next big revolution in the farming. You can also consider vertical farms, where a building with only farms on each floor produces our heirloom Chemical Free Food.

We want our food to be free of chemicals.

We want our soil to be free of chemicals.

We want our rivers to be pure and uncontaminated from the run off of the excess chemicals used in farming with hybrid seeds.

We need your help to make this happen.

We are the future of India, and we need your help to grow into healthy adults to take care of our mother land.