Jhabua Darshan Yatra-I had hit jackpot :)
The following article is ‘Anubhuti’ of Anandita Gupta, a graduate from Denison University, Ohio, US. Her experience of Jhabua, one day tour of ‘Jhabua Darshan Yatra’, a program under Jhabua Tourism. I am an advocate of organic farming and believe in the importance of connecting with people who make food on our plates possible. So, when I got an opportunity to visit the district of Jhabua, I thought I had hit jackpot. Through a one-day field visit, I got the beautiful chance to interact with farmers who, with their collective conviction to create healthy soil and produce, have resolved to farm without chemicals. It was nothing short than inspirational to witness that despite limited resources and conventional arguments, farmers in Jhabua are motivated to further explore traditional farming techniques. My lunch from the trip summarizes it all: unpolished, nutrient-rich dal, freshly cut cucumber grown with the help of organic compost and natural fertilizers, corn Bafla perfectly cooked in a handi/ traditional oven, and raw mango chutney which came from the mango tree under which we were eating. This has been possible due to Shivganga’s consistent ground-work which has strengthened the relationship between land, farmers, and consumers, under the initiative of Jhabua Naturals. Other initiatives such as Jhabua Crafts and Halma, have further improved the socio-economic status of Jhabua by focusing on issues of skill development and water management. I am extremely grateful to have shared this experience with a group of environmentally concerned citizens and learned from those who believe in long- term sustainability.