Previous press releases: 8th April 2020 https://gramsevasangh.org/2020/04/09/pressnote08042020kan/ https://gramsevasangh.org/2020/04/09/pressnote08042020/
Why an indefinite fast?
Press Release: 10th April 2020
Many people have responded to Grama Seva Sangh’s call to undertake a one day fast to empathize with the plight of the rural poor. I have responded too. I also wish to continue my fast for an indefinite period. Let me explain.
According to an estimate, six crore poor workers are migrating in the country at present. A greater number of poor people are beginning to feel the need to migrate. The Sacred Economy strives to ensure that people are not forced to migrate.
Personally speaking, for the past 25 years, I have been working on creating a model of rural employment for implementing the Sacred Economy. This effort called Charaka and an effort to sell sacred products called Desi have seen much success. Not only are poor rural women running an enterprise profitably without being at anyone’s mercy, they have earned fame as the largest producer in the field of naturally dyed cloth in the country.
Over the past two years, however, these women have faced a series of assaults from the monster economy. First, there was demonetization. The women who had relied on cash payments were then forced to switch to digital transactions. The GST was then imposed on handmade products. The monster economy collapsed afterwards. Production collapsed too. The eight hundred weavers and other workers of Charaka and Desi are now left stranded. What a tragedy! The economic system has destroyed the very means that sought to prevent the forced migration of the poor
A few friends have asked me whether it was wise to fast and not assist the starving people instead during this distressing situation. Yes, we must assist them. Gram Seva Sangh is assisting them at present and will continue to assist them. But, just think. If a food packet is handed out every time the disease worsens, can the disease be cured? Can a loan waiver or some other form of alms that the governments often handout, secure the livelihoods of the poor? Let us certainly offer alms to those who are starving. At the same time, however, let us also reflect on how things came to be this way. “Wasn’t she a farmer once? And a weaver or a shepherd, a
carpenter, a potter, a cobbler? Didn’t they lead independent lives before?” Let’s ask, whether they, like ourselves,
weren’t also proud about their God, their villages and localities, about socialism, language? Raising such questions is the chief purpose of my fast.
I won’t disclose the venue of my fast. As that might affect the truly sacred social work of distributing food among the poor. Please continue the work of offering meals. While doing so, please reflect on the ways in which the catastrophe caused by the monster economy can be overcome. That will definitely do good.
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Gram Seva Sangh
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