On the evening of December 15, 2010, the Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) proudly planted the seeds of our 2011 India Women and Food Initiative with members of the community. The launch of this exciting new initiative embodied the spirit of India through live classical Indian music performed by Aharon Wheels Bolsta and delicious cuisine and chai. During the program, Joanna Macy shared inspiring words honoring India’s traditional seed keepers, women farmers, and their role in conserving the diversity of crops. Drew Dellinger offered two moving poems that spoke to the urgency of environmental action. The night culminated with the official launch of the India Women and Food Initiative by Rucha Chitnis, WEA’s India director.
During her talk, Rucha described her recent partnership-building visit to India, where she identified WEA’s grassroots partner in India, the Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group, who is our key ally to co-design the 2011 capacity building training in India. The India Women and Food Initiative will build the capacities of rural women leaders who are implementing climate change solutions in their communities and are advancing the rights and dignity of small and marginalized women farmers. Through this initiative, we will provide ecological farming training, appropriate technology, rights education, and seed funding to grassroots Indian women leaders to improve food and economic security, preserve the environment and traditional knowledge, and build political will.
In India, Rucha met with many landless and marginalized women farmers, who are fighting for their rights and are protecting their natural resources. Their rallying chants remind us of the power of women to inspire change throughout the world–“We are the women of India. We are not delicate flowers. We are the fire! We are the spark!”
We invite you to join our initiative and view more pictures of the evening!