Sri. Dewanand Pawar, founding member of MAPPP, addressing the gathering

‘Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisoned Persons’ (MAPPP) formed on the World Soil Day  and No Pesticide Use Week in Yavatmal in the Farmers Meeting on “Impact of Pesticides on Soil and Children of the Soil”

On 5th December, 2018, commemorating World Soil Day, amidst observing ‘No Pesticide Use Week (3-10 December, 2018), scores of farmers came together from different Districts of Maharashtra to deliberate on pesticide poisoning. Pesticide poisoning, in addition to debts, low harvest prices, climate change impacts, under quality seeds, has been adding burden on farmers in Vidarbha region. Farmers resolved to form Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisoned Persons. They plan to capacitate this community organisation to fight for their rights. MAPPP, feel that it can effectively lobby for compensation to families, which witnessed deaths or debilitation due to pesticide poisoning, while spraying on cotton and other crops. Because of pesticide poisoning, families of farmers and farm workers are losing their breadwinners to death and disease.

Participants in the meeting

Yavatmal Declaration has been released in this meeting. Smt. Vidyatai Dhote, a organic farmer and a social worker, said, pesticides are a burden for the farmers. Ms. Mani Prakash, a advocate, wanted farmers to talk to the women in their families and understand the impacts on their bodies and work. Sri. Vasant Rathod , a cancer survivor, squarely blames insecticides for his cancer and exhorts farmers to move away from them.

Pesticide poisoning has become a major factor in increasing poverty in rural areas of Maharashtra, more particularly in Vidarbha region. Dr. Narasimha Reddy Donthi, a policy expert, observed that ‘while the balance sheets of major pesticide companies are showing huge profits, farmers are ending up in debts’.

Sri. Dewanand Pawar, Convenor of MAPPP, has a clear road map to bring companies to take responsibility, and has expectations on government to play a huge role in making liability part of Indian pesticide regulation.