Monday, October 15, 2012

PEOPLE’S BIODIVERSITY FESTIVAL

‘Unity for Diversity!’

The expectation has been building up, and the excitement is now palpable.
“Mother Earth is not for sale or plunder!” is the opening declaration of the People’s Biodiversity Festival, Oct 13 to 16, at the Exhibition Grounds, Nampally, Hyderabad.
Over 80 groups from all over India are participating. About 60 stalls will have indigenous seeds, posters, photographs, books, ecological products, folk arts and crafts. The ‘Food Corner’ will offer a variety of indigenous, organic foods. Open seminars, cultural programmes, and film screenings will be held on all days.
The ‘Rice Mela’, a part of the ‘People’s Biodiversity Festival’, has already launched today. It brings you numerous varieties of rice from all over India – in various flavors and colors.  Each has its special characteristics and nutritional value.  Several varieties have medicinal properties; some are particularly suited to diabetics. But sadly, few people know that India – a global centre of origin and mega-diversity of rice – boasted over 200,000 (two lakh) varieties till just five decades ago!
The larger ‘People’s Biodiversity Festival’ begins tomorrow (Saturday) at 11 am, with an inaugural adivasi ceremony of connecting to Nature in a spirit of reverence. The lamp-lighting will then be done by stalwarts like Bhaskar Save, veteran natural farmer (now 90), who received the ‘One World Award’ for Lifetime Achievement from the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). This will be followed by the Opening Plenary on the People’s Biodiversity Festival, and what it stands for. (Please also see our earlier Press Release on this.)
The Saturday afternoon session features an open seminar on ‘Biodiversity and Ecological Agriculture’, which will be addressed by successful and well-known farmers like Bhaskar Save, Vasant Futane and others. The evening Cultural Program will be inaugurated by the well-know folk and revolutionary singer, Gaddar.
The People’s Biodiversity Festival has also invited children (10 to 15 years) to submit their creative expressions on ‘Saving Mother Earth’ – in art, poetry, slogan or short essay – on a single A4 size sheet of paper, with their names and contact details. The best 20 such expressions will be presented with gifts.
The participants at the People’s Biodiversity Festival will affirm a positive collective pledge to protect Nature and its now severely endangered treasure of biodiversity.
Please kindly depute your senior correspondent of print/electronic media to cover the program. We promise you many very interesting stories!
Date: 13th October (Saturday), 11.30 am
Venue: Exhibition Grounds, Gate No 2 (opposite BJP office), Nampally, Hyderabad.
For the People’s Biodiversity Festival Organizing Team
D Narasimha Reddy, Uma Shankari, Jacob Nellithanam, Bharat Mansata, Saraswati Kavula, Rajshekar, Asha Latha, Sitaram, Sashank Rajwadi. Contact No – 090102 05742; 7842439062

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