Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Brinjal Festival!!!

Some day on the month of June, when I was shopping at Chennai with my mom, I received a call from one of my friend / volunteer from Delhi and I was discussing about the POA of the Brinjal Festival proposed on July. After the conversation my Mom intervened to know what the conversation was about and I told her that we are planning to organize a "Brinjal Festival"... A wired look and with a strange voice she asked "Brinjal?"... didn't you get any other vegetable to celebrate?...

18th July @ 1.00 hours the car which we were traveling stopped before the flyover in front of Bikini Comma Place... Thanks to the service engineer who failed to put water and coolant in the radiator. After a brief stop we re-start and went for a while before it went off.... A couple of more stoppage took us to the Domestic Airport where I got down to locate a leading domestic air carriers cargo service to pick up a parcel which came from Bhubaneshwar and Rajiv and Sugandha went looking for a petrol pump where we thought we would get some solution... btw we went there to collect a cargo packet and unfortunately the packet which I wanted to collect did not have my name on it.... I got to know that these guys follow a whole lot of procedure and strictly stick to that before disbursing these packets.... after a fight for an hour I could some how prove that I'm the right person to collect the packet. When signing the documents, just for the security reasons that guy asked that what's there inside the packet and I replied... its Brinjal.... with the same wired look and a strange voice he responded "Brinjal?"...

I just thought myself, will this be the response with the people who would come to the Brinjal festival day?..... By the time thankfully with the help of a few people around the airport, these guys managed to cool down the radiator and we came back home around 3.30 in the morning.

Brinjal was never my favorite food but the opportunity to organize this festival as a part of Coalition for GM free India's run "I am No Lab Rat" campaign, built in the bridge between me and brinjal, by the time the event was supposed to start I had almost known a adequate part of brinjal and its history which helped me to respond to the media people who were there to cover the event. The interesting part of the entire festival was the way it could connect a common man to the diversities of brinjal and its tradition and also about the yet to be approved Genetically Modified brinjals, by this time most of the public have heard the name GM food and thanks to the response of Agriculture Ministry a couple of days before at the parliament session which made news just a couple of days before the festival.... but they didn't know by then that GM food is going to create so much of adverse health effects to them as well as there are alternate viable option of having food cultivation without switching to GM food.

Thanks to the volunteers who were able to run around and pull in more and more people and eventually when the day progressed there was always a buzz in the stall. We were able to display around 35 different diversities of Brinjal but to say in India there are more than 2000 varieties available..... When the day was over with our objective of generating mass awareness to the public some how got fulfilled. We pulled out a decent and nice event. I was winding up a poster which stated "Brinjal Dreams"... I don't know what brinjal dreams but I was dreaming brinjal for a weak long and I thought that at least today I won't have it :).

The response from the media to the event was quite decent and we had good coverage’s through wire service and also in some daily media. Look in the comment section for the links to the media coverage on the festival :).

2 comments:

selva ganapathy said...

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/business/activists-campaign-against-introduction-of-gm-food_100219796.html(18th July 2009, http://www.thaindian.com)

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/008200907181752.htm(18th July 2009, The Hindu)

http://samachaar.in/Delhi/Activists_campaign_against_introduction_of_GM_food_87875/(18th July 2009, www.samachar.in)

http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?a=jhsr4Iggfbj&title=Activists_campaign_against_introduction_of_GM_food(18th July 2009, sify)

http://www.zeenews.com/news548151.html(18th July 2009, zee news)

http://www.prokerala.com/news/articles/a65692.html(18th July 2009, prokerala news)

http://www.headlinesindia.com/environment-news/green-campaign/activists-campaign-against-introduction-of-gm-food-17251.html(18th July 2009, headlines india news)

http://in.news.yahoo.com/43/20090718/860/ttc-activists-campaign-against-introduct.html(18th July 2009, yahoo )

http://www.samaylive.com/news/activists-campaign-against-introduction-of-gm-food/639177.html(18th July 2009, samay live )

http://www.southasiamonitor.org/2009/July/news/20sai6.shtml(18th July 2009, South Asia Monitor)

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/Details.aspx?boxid=15828984&id=25599&issuedate=2072009(20th July 2009, Mail Today)

http://in.jagran.yahoo.com/epaper/index.php?location=49&edition=2009-07-20&pageno=9(20th July 2009, Dainik Jaagran)

http://www.hindu.com/mp/2009/07/23/stories/2009072351030300.htm(23rd July 2009, The Hindu)

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?260065Aug 03, 2009, Outlook India)

There was an India TV program on the same for which I'll provide the links as soon as I get and we expect a few more stories from a couple of other leading dailies / magazines as well

sugandha said...

selva ab hum tumhare liye "these guys" ho gaye :p