Cultivating Hope Campaign

Cultivating Hope Campaign

Cultivating Hope Campaign

Agriculture in India started over 2500 years ago, with the farming of many spices and sugarcane. The written history of agriculture in India dates back to the Rig-Veda period (1100 BC). Today, India ranks second in agricultural output. Even though the population has increased threefold, the agricultural output has also quadrupled in the same period, and this sector is demographically the broadest economic sector in India.

However, the community, which is the bloodline of the nation, instead of being the most comfortably off, is actually facing severe problems. In this present age of advancement, the farmers have received only fake assurances and are suffering losses. India is gaining great momentum in the IT and BPO sectors. However, in a nation where the majority population is engaged in agricultural activities, approximately 50% of the population is living below poverty level. While India is marching ahead towards becoming a prominent power, our farmers are starving. In the year 2014, the National Crime Records Bureau of India (NCRB) reported 5,650 farmer suicides. The farmers’ suicide rate in India has ranged between 1.4 to 1.8 per 100,000 total population, over a 10-year period through 2005. To keep things precise and in perspective, over 3000 farmers committed suicide just in the last 3 years.

Farmers are the most important segment of our society, because it is they who put food on our table. However, every 30 minutes, a farmer in India commits suicide. Drought, debt, use of genetically modified seeds and lack of enough economic support from the government contribute towards the farmers taking such an extreme step. It is indeed a very dismal picture. The five states which account for two-thirds of farmers’ suicides as per the NCRB are, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.

Problems Faced by Farmers

  1. Farmer gets a loan at 7% p.a. and if he pays his interest on time he gets a rebate of 3% only on his crop. However, if he wants to expand, he needs to take a fresh loan at 10-11% interest p.a.
  2. Lack of proper financial assistance from banks force the farmers to borrow money from the local money lenders at an unprecedented interest rate of 36% p.a.  Very soon, the interest is more than the principle and the farmer is caught in a vicious circle of repaying his debts all his life.
  3. Absence of proper irrigation facilities and use of modern technology for water storage makes the farmer mostly dependent on nature for good harvest. With global warming, monsoons have become erratic and thus most of the time his harvest gets spoiled because of no rain or too much rain, at the wrong time.
  4. Lack of adequate storage facilities deters the farmers from being able to store excess food grains and thus they rot and get wasted.
  5. The middle men should be removed from the scene because they end up exploiting the farmers and getting most of the income from the produce.
  6. The Green Revolution is a reminder of the drift between the rich and poor farmers. The public distribution system requires amendments, so that the agrarian commodities do not reach only the rich farmers, but the poor ones too.
  7. The farmers do not get any subsidies, which add to the list of plights that they face.

 Cultivating Hope Campaign

Keeping in mind the grim reality of the situation faced by the farmers in India, NDTV in collaboration with Piramal Foundation has launched Cultivating Hope campaign. The campaign will highlight the severe problems faced by the farmers in India and thus find a solution for the same. The campaign aims at:

  • Supporting the poor farmers in distress.
  • Representatives of the campaign visit the most remote locations to create confidence among farmers.
  • They also visit the families of farmers who have committed suicide to boost their morale.
  • To identify the severe adversities faced by the farmers in India.
  • To spread awareness about the problems among the people of India.
  • To find solutions to overcome these adversities.
  • A web portal to help farmers get quick solutions to farming related queries has been launched under this campaign.

Notable celebrities like Kailash Satyarthi, Sadhguru, Akshay Kumar, Nana Patekar who had been supporting drought-struck farmers, extended their support to the Cultivating Hope campaign.

Akshay Kumar, the Bollywood actor, who has been helping farmers in dire straits says that the issues being face by farmers in India should be given utmost priority, because well being of the nation depends on the well being of the farmers.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing says that farmers are facing many issues like compensation, insurance, crop and last but not the least issues regarding loans. According to her any loan given to farmers should be at the cheapest amount of interest.

NDTV has also started “Farmers for Future” Movement. In this movement suggestions for the betterment of the farmers in India will be collected from the public and the good ones will be implemented. Digital Green will be the “knowledge partner” for this campaign.


It is now time to bring respite to the farmers. Apart from building new cities, and forging ahead as Digital India, it is time to take care of the requirements of the agrarian community, for after all they are the backbone of India.