Tribal yatra seeks to restore traditional food practices
Rati Ram, an 88-year-old from Gangar Talai in Banswara, though unsure of his own age, remembers that food was tastier and more nutritious when he was younger. “In those times, only indigenous fertilisers and pest control methods were used in fields, but now chemicals have replaced them. This has abolished varieties of leafy vegetables which used to grow with main crops. Gradually, we also lost our traditional nutritional food practices. I also remember people were rarely sick in older times when we used to cook the food in Mahua oil.”
Just like Rati Ram, several elders from Vagad (area of southeastern Rajasthan including Banswara and Dungarpur district) shared their years old experiences about local food and traditional farming practices for better nutrition in rural areas during Janjatiya Kisan Swaraj Yatra, which started on Gandhi Jayanti and concluded in Banswara on World Food Day.
“In Vagad, people used to say “Genhu Chhor Makka Khana, Vagad Chhor Kahi Nahi Jana’,” PL Patel, a farmer and activist said. “This tag line has its roots in food system of the region which was synonymous with general food habits where maize was the main constituent of the diet. But with time, the situation has changed and wheat …read more