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Sculpting Rural Revolution: Art and Agriculture Festival in Paradsinga village, Madhya Pradesh

Paradsinga’s museum will put to display traditional food of the region through artistic designs crafted with the help of crops and plants

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An agricultural Land. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • A village to host a museum that will put to display traditional food of the region through artistic designs crafted with the help of crops and plants
  • Villagers are trained to create 300 wax sculptures out of traditional crops and dishes for the art-cum-agriculture festival in October
  • The idea of the upcoming ‘land craft’ festival originated from the ‘Beej Utsav’ 

A group of artists at Paradsinga in Madhya Pradesh is integrating a new style of farming by merging art and agriculture.
Working together with the artists, the local community is preparing to host Paradsinga’s museum that will put to display traditional food of the region through artistic designs crafted with the help of crops and plants.
“The museum will connect the village directly to the rest of the world. And our villages should be the cultural hub,” says Shweta Bhattad, an artist and activist, who is preparing the village for a grand edition of the festival in October.
      Bhattad has taken the lead in training the villagers to create 300 wax sculptures out of traditional crops and dishes, exhibiting the elegance of local recipes. For the first of its kind agriculture-cum-artwork exhibition, the village is being turned into an open site for seminars and workshops.
‘Dear Prime Minister Please Grow in India’, is the slogan of the ‘land art’ designed by the community with the help of leafy vegetables on a patch of farmland. The slogan aims to highlight the ongoing ‘Make in India’ campaign of the Prime Minister.
Keeping up with the ‘traditional spirit’ of the campaign, the villagers are using fresh organic produce as well as home-grown harvested seeds for the crafting out of plants. Other than the above message, the community aims to echo the importance of traditional farming methods over genetically modified varieties.
Indian farming lands during monsoon Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Indian farming lands during monsoon
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  The idea of the upcoming ‘land craft’ festival originated from the ‘Beej Utsav’ (seed festival) which attracted about 50 visitors during the local exhibit.
“Just like there is artists’ exchange, we thought of creating a platform for farmers to exchange and meet and get involved. I realised that today a farmer feels very lonely,” says Bhattad.
Ms. Bhattad, who holds a Master’s degree in sculpture from M.S.U. Baroda has been camping for the same since 2013. She roped in other artists including Lalit Vikamshi, Tanmay Joshi, Aditi Bhattad, choreographer Parvinder Singh, for her innovative plan. To increase collaboration, Italian artist Virginia Zemati took to Skype for teaching the young village young girls to dance.
       “I saw the bio-diversity of the village get killed because the farmers were encouraged to grow only Bt cotton. It also led to fall in the water table. The youth in the village were frustrated. We wanted to address all of this and I felt that if there is an art angle to what we say it will reach out to more people,” says Bhattad.
         Bhattad, based in Nagpur, is attached to Paradsinga because her grandfather lives here.  This makes her deeply inspired to work on the idea. Her plans for the festival are building on different sources of inspiration for the local village community.
During the monsoons when farms used to get totally cut off from village, it was difficult for farmers without networked roads to carry on with farming. Influenced by Bhattad, a 21-year-old farmer named Ganesh Dhoke has recently built a 500-metre road that connects about 50 farms to the village.
Other than training the village youth, she is actively involved in providing equipments and machinery for the task.
 “As of now there are four farmers who have quit growing Bt Cotton completely and moved on to other crops,” says Ms. Bhattad.

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-By Maariyah Siddiquee, intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @MaariyahSid

ALSO READ:

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Not only in one village, this should be done in many villages so that people come to know about the art and agriculture. Along with this, these festivals should have media coverage

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World Can’t Afford to Build Any More Fossil Fuel by Burning Plants

The world can't afford to build any more fossil fuel burning plants if it hopes to avoid catastrophic climate change

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FILE - The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation's top carbon dioxide emitters, stands in the distance in Juliette, Georgia, June, 3, 2017. VOA

The world can’t afford to build any more fossil fuel burning plants if it hopes to avoid catastrophic climate change, according to a new study in the journal Nature.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the power plants, factories, furnaces and vehicles the world has already built will warm the planet into dangerous territory, past the target set in the Paris climate agreement, the researchers find.

Any new plants — and some older ones — will either have to close early, before they are paid off, or install costly carbon-capture gear, the researchers say.

Greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels have already warmed the planet about 1 degree Celsius on average. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires and rainstorms have grown more intense, and sea levels are rising. Impacts will get worse as the planet warms, scientists say.

World, Fossil Fuels, Plants
FILE – A plume of smoke billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire, Jan. 20, 2015. VOA

In Paris, negotiators agreed to keep global warming “well below” 2 degrees, and to aim for 1.5 degrees.

To meet that target, the world can produce at most another 580 gigatons of carbon dioxide, according to a U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimate.

But the new study finds that existing fossil fuel infrastructure will produce more than that over its lifetime: about 658 gigatons total. (One gigaton equals a billion tons.)

Additional plants that are planned, permitted or under construction will add another 188 gigatons, putting the world about two-thirds of the way to 2 degrees.

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“If we want to stay under one and a half degrees, we’d need to stop building new stuff immediately and retire a fair amount of our already existing stuff before the end of its operating lifetime,” said study co-author Steve Davis, Earth science professor at the University of California, Irvine.

The study adds detail to an IPCC report last October, which said global emissions need to fall 45 percent by 2030 to keep below the 1.5 degree target.

There is some wiggle room in the estimates.

Another study earlier this year gave a 64 percent chance that the world would stay below 1.5 degrees of warming if all existing plants were phased out starting in 2018.

World, Fossil Fuels, Plants
A solar panel array collects sunlight, with the Fremont, Nebraska, May 31, 2018, with a power plant seen behind it. VOA

“The message is still consistent,” said lead author Chris Smith, a climate researcher at the University of Leeds. “Basically, we need to transition away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible.”

Both studies assume that no more fossil plants will be built. Davis calls that assumption “laughable.”

“Research like this makes it obvious that we can’t fight climate change and continue burning oil and gas at the same time,” said Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign Director Janet Redman, “but the United States continues to expand drilling, fracking, and mining for fossil fuels.”

The American Petroleum Institute, the main U.S. oil and gas industry trade group, said in a statement that the industry “is already driving emissions to 25-year lows—more than any nation on earth—made possible by the growing use of clean natural gas for power. The U.S. and the world can continue that progress, meet record consumer energy demand, and protect the environment by investing in modern natural gas and oil infrastructure.”

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The new study is a follow-up to one Davis co-authored in 2010. It found that the world was on track for 1.3 degrees of warming, and “sources of the most threatening emissions have yet to be built.”

That was before China went on a coal-plant building binge.

Today, the study finds, nearly half of the world’s industrial and electricity generation emissions come from China.

As the cost of wind and solar energy plummet, however, “we have an opportunity to retire some of these things early, and it might not even be that far-fetched,” Davis said. “That’s the piece that is a little more hopeful.”

With the cost of renewables declining and health care costs from fossil fuel air pollution mounting, “Many governments have recognized that the economics of coal power…make new coal power economically and socially unfavorable,” said the World Resources Institute’s Kelly Levin.

Nearly 31 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity was taken out of service worldwide in 2018, compared with about 2 gigawatts in 2006, according to Global Energy Monitor.

But early retirements will be expensive and hard to swallow, Davis acknowledged, even for those with good intentions.

Davis is working with the University of California’s 10-campus system to meet its goal to be carbon neutral by 2025. The schools recognize that one of the biggest challenges will be replacing the seven on-campus natural gas combined heat and power plants.

“I’ve had conversations with the administrators where they say, ‘Well, let’s go ahead and make a plan for when this thing is fully paid for,” he said.

“This is exactly what our paper gets at is, we can’t just wait for the end of these things’ lifetime to make a decision. We actually need to hasten that.” (VOA)