Ananthoo's updates

When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Farmer's fighter

Kavitha Kuruganti!
Yes, That’s what the agri tamizh magazine, Pasumai Vikatan called her- ‘vivasaiyigalin poralli’ meaning the farmer's fighter..combatant..warrior!
If you had followed the BT brinjal issue, the consultations and the moratorium, u sure heard about her. And you sure accept that post fix.
She was a driving force and was one of the main players who took the fight in to the corporates’ and GM camp.
I first met her 2+ years back at a restore organized meet, when she had come to talk on GM food. It was an impressive talk and one could make out that she was a driven activist and the passion was really high and obvious. The way she articulated and the content was all fantastic.
Then our paths didn’t cross much until the recent Kisan Swaraj Yatra. When I got one of the mails circulated about the yatra, its objectives,agenda, schedule, I was thrilled to see them and was ready to join it. But before that, the striking thing for me was the thought and effort that had gone in to the whole planning of this mammoth yatra. Then I came to know that she was behind most of it and when I called her to get some further info, I must admit I was way impressed.
But I never knew that all this was to become under statement. Once I joined the KSY, I noticed the amount of thoughts and planning that went in and most of it was credited to her. She was there everywhere. She had saw thru all the requirements inside the bus for the 75 days- like an UPS, immersion heater for the distant winter of north India, buckets, dharris, blankets, banners, extension boxes, water keg, stickers n posters, print materials, hand held mike, big amplifier mike set and what not. So as I slowly watch all this in awe, I get to see more. The planning of each state, route, every event to the last detail and the involvement impressed me. Then the striking feature was deliverance- whether there are others to take responsibility or not, if the ones who took the responsibility were standing up to deliver it or not..phew, incredible.
That small impatience hanging almost always, just wanting tasks and issues to be done with, eagerness to deliver perfectly, the 'second driving', consistently chasing people to accomplish their resps, being very wary of time commitments, all those reminding me of a young me..and so the impression increases multifold,naturally:-)
Its not just in planning or the OCD level discipline or the seriousness but also being able to play all the roles effortlessly and efficiently, that steals. She was also our star speaker.Talk of diverse roles!
She is the one the whole KSY wud look up to whenever there was a debate with scientists. IMHO, those were instances she wud freak out and stand out as the super star of the whole campaign. sample: once to a group of scientists who were crying hoarse that GM and biotech was after all science -she just said “ yes, its science but do you all get the point that science comprises physics, Biology esp micro biology too apart from chemistry..” and at another instant where a scientist was heavily gasing about pesticide problems and how GM technology wud do away with pesticide usage, bla bla..she just asked pointedly “if pest was their problem or pesticide was their problem..if its pest, we have lotsa traditional ways and if its pesticide why don’t u ask urself why is it there at the first place?..” I for one was sold to her talks at each of the agri universities and can keep reeling statements about how the scientists were countered factually, statistically, historically and scientifically too..
Then comes the rare side- dare devilry:-0
This was at Jalna, where we were protesting outside the Mahyco (Monsanto’s Indian arm/distri) head quarters. There was heavy police deployment bcos they were obviously getting calls from the ‘whos who’..Then after sometime the police comes up to us and asks us to wind up and when folks point hands towards KK , the police goes up to her. She just ‘shoos’ him away saying she is quite busy and that we had permission for this protest and we had 3 more speakers to talk and only when its all over we would think of winding..when the police persisted again she coolly points out that if he disturbs now, it wud only delay the proceedings and carries on. Cool, eh?
The amazing and incredible part above all is the fact that she has vertigo problem and hence cannot take bus travel easily. The only way she can take a road travel is by being on the 1st seat so that she has a clear view of the road on front, failing which her head wud spin and she wud have a bout of giddiness. So for such a person to plan and dream of a 75 day yatra and with half the travel thru ghat roads..add to that a bakhwas bus that we had..I wud shudder to go thru this..and here she was ‘driving’ the whole scene- the crew, the yatra, yatris and all..
Add to all these woes, her itch to finish any open task irrespective of the so many difficulties, she wud also take her laptop and type her way to glory bcos an update for the website or a press release wud be needed as soon as we reach the next venue.
Yes, that was this small wonder called Kavitha, who was there to get the press releases ready on time always, fantastic reports done immaculately, coordinate the next programs, fast on her feet with alternate plans and place of stay in case of any problems, plan and execute accounts, prepare for speeches (for demanding ones like at univs and special events), the long term policy document – u name it and she had to have a hand. All this meant her average sleep thru the Yatra was a sheer 2 hours a day! Still she had this infectious workaholic nature that spread to me so fast.
It was a pleasure to watch such a smart devil at work from such a close quarter and to see that one could accomplish so much with such perspiration, but getting it all executed so effortlessly was a treat.
So it was no wonder that there were so many stalwarts to support this massive yatra and that lots of interesting folks participating and pitching in with so much enthu all over India. yes, her enthu, seriousness and hardwork is infectious.
Add to all this the knowledge fountainhead that she can be, the information glut that she can present, superfluous confidence she can ooze and all that with the passion and sincerity that she showed, it was no wonder what she has achieved this much in such a short time.
Glory to her. Long live her commitment and let the number of people influenced and guided by her increase and let her 'just' cause prevail.

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  • At January 09, 2011 11:26 PM, Blogger selva ganapathy said…

    Couldn't agree more with you Ananthoo!... in fact she is one reason why I am involved more in the campaign and the battle... a true inspiration and a brilliant strategic leader!...
    just not enough words to explain about her!...

  • At January 10, 2011 12:19 AM, Anonymous Raj said…

    nice one, Good to know about such nice people. But wasnt it too much yatra specific? I would want to know more about her and beyond the yatra.

  • At January 10, 2011 8:26 PM, Blogger Ananthoo said…

    @Selva- thx for ur visit and comment.
    am happy u have moved to Madras.We shud benefit.

    @Raj- ya, it became yatra specific..wanted to complete it with more info..that never happened and with so many more posts waiting to be 'delivered' its tuff now.but thats the crux - hard work, hard work, hard work:-0


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