Pesticide Poisoned victim’s group in Yavatmal launched website and released education materials online
Yavatmal: Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisoned Persons (MAPPP) jointly with Pesticide Action Network (PAN) India launched the web site of MAPPP and released awareness creation videos on chemical pesticides and its harmful effects, in an online event organised in the Zoom platform yesterday, 8th August. Mr. Sahebrao Pawar from MAPPP, Dr Narasimha Reddy Donthi and Dileep Kumar A. D. from PAN India joined the program. Farmers, researchers, and media people were also present.
The web site of MAPPP www.mappp.in
Recently a website for MAPPP was developed with the purpose of widening its activities towards spreading the messages. Currently the site is available in English language, efforts are being taken to get it in Marathi as well. It also intends to collate information around pesticide poisoning and harmful effects of pesticides, official documents on farmer’s poisonings, steps taken by the government on poisoning issues, pesticide bans, awareness creation materials etc. The web site also provides booklet in Marathi that address health issues of pesticides especially for children.
Mr. Sahebrao Pawar, representative of MAPPP while speaking in the event noted that the “website and videos released now would strengthen the activities of MAPPP and to help increased outreach. MAPPP is committed to provide the right information to farmers and workers and will also develop education materials on importance of agroecological farming ”.
Awareness Creation Materials
As another pesticide use season is already started especially for cotton crop, farmers and workers needs to be properly aware of the pesticides such as their toxicity, precautions to be followed while working with pesticides, its harmful effects, pesticide poisoning, community effects etc. In this regard, with the support from PAN India four short videos has been developed and the same was released in the function. Four videos named introduction to pesticides, toxicity of pesticides, pesticide use and safety precautions, and pesticide poisoning and community impacts.
Formally launching the website of MAPPP and releasing awareness creation videos on pesticides and health effects Dr. Narasimha Reddy, expressed his hope that “with the information provided in the videos farmers and workers now would be able to take decisions about the use of pesticides that help them to prevent possible health damage”. He added that pesticides are knows as medicines in local language (‘oushad’ in Marathi which means medicine) as it has been promoted, but pesticides are toxic substances capable of damaging health and environmental wellbeing. The videos released now is part of efforts towards making farming community aware of this fact”.
Dileep Kumar, said that “the information given in the website and videos will help farming community for an informed decision making regarding pesticide use and expressed his hope that it will contribute to reduce poisoning and fatalities related to pesticides and also to enable a transition towards non chemical farming practices”.
Links to the videos are given below.
MAPPP is a Statewide platform of farmers and farm workers who are affected with the harmful effects of pesticides. MAPPP, as a community organisation was formed with the objective of securing justice and find sustainable solutions to the problems being faced by the farming community. The Shetkari Nyayhakk Andolan Samithi in Yavatmal jointly with Pesticide Action Network (PAN) India initiated the efforts to form such a platform. It was formed in response to the unfortunate incidents of pesticide poisonings of the farming community reported in 2017 in Yavatmal and neighbouring districts in Maharashtra. Victims of pesticide poisoning gathered on December 5th, World Soil Day, on the occasion of No Pesticide Use Week in 2018. Based on discussions and debate on pesticide poisoning on that day, participants agreed to form an organisation to support for the victims and engage in activities to stop the menace caused by the usage of toxic agrochemicals. It is a community-based secular, non-affiliated advocacy organization that works towards securing the rights of pesticide-poisoned persons (PPP) in Maharashtra and to seek justice for affected individuals and community.
MAPPP has been engaged in activities including awareness creation, providing remedy to poisoned victims as well as advocating and popularising for non-chemical farming practices based on agroecology. Bringing together the like-minded groups and individuals including medical professional, civil society organisations, social workers and lawyers, MAPPP was able to organise free medical camps, health care support, agroecology workshops and awareness creation activities over the past three years.
Future Actions MAPPP
MAPPP is continuing its efforts to monitor Pesticide Poisoning in Yavatmal in particular and Maharashtra in general to create awareness among farming community, helps poisoned victims and documents the incidents. MAPPP also intends to bring in more education and awareness creation materials on harmful effects of pesticides, non-chemical farming practices and successful experience of farmers, etc. With the help PAN India, MAPPP will facilitate farmers action to eliminate toxic agrochemicals from farming and shift to agro-ecological farming practices.
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