Friday, December 31, 2010

Nav-Trinjan : A women initiative make their kitchen pesticide free

Report of

At Chaina Village
Women vowed to make their kitchen pesticide free and reintroduce millets in food

By Amanjot Kaur

Trinjan, this word is much known to Punjabi women. When one talks about Trinjan with old women you can feel a glow on their faces and twinkle in their eyes. Trinjan used to be a part of our rich culture but unfortunately on the name of development and Green revolution this lovely part seized from Punjabi women and now new generation of Punjab not familiar with this.
Trinjan, a symbol of liberty and wisdom of women, provides a platform to women for sharing its skills like embroidery, weaving, knitting, spinning, cooking , health and as well as traditional knowledge related with agriculture like seeds, sowing, herbs etc. women also shared their sorrows and joys with each other in Trinjan. It also strengthened their relationship which totally missed in these times because they could perform these activities in any home of the village at any time, no one objected on it. Trinjan also provided opportunity to women for entertainment and passing-on of creative intelligence to younger generation by singing folk songs, dancing and jokes.    
Women Action for Ecology, a part of Kheti Virasat Mission is making efforts to revive this precious thing of our culture by giving it a new name ‘Nav-Trinjan’. Nav-Trinjan, because it also encompasses women’s initiative to contemporary civilization, social and ecological challenges. Nav-Trinjan is an venture to provide a platform to women again with much wider canvas and women’s quest on broader horizons, it’s a unique effort of KVM. Nav-Trinjan are evolved to make sure the participation of women in any mitigation process to tackle present-day challenges to Punjab, by taking-up pesticide free kitchen and pesticide free farming. It’s our convection that without the participation of women it is not possible to make Punjab pesticide free.

Nav-Trinjan at Chaina
Nav-Trinjan at Chaina was organized on 26th December 2010 for the preparations of this eve, coordinator met women at individual level and in collective meetings also. Village women well known to this concept so it was not difficult to convince them for this. They looked very interested on organizing it. They offered themselves for any arrangements. A team was formed and they took responsibilities to make traditional foods themselves. Cultural part of Nav-Trinjan was also looked after by women themselves. Young girls Harmanjot Kaur and Rajwinder Kaur took the responsibility of Giddha and Sammi.
It was a foggy Sunday with chilling cold of 4 degree temperature, but women of Chaina village got up early to finish their household work so that they can join this eve. It was very memorable moments where everyone helped each other in her work.
Programme was started on 11o’clock. In spite of fog and cold people of village reached at high school ground. Programme started with introductory remarks by Umendra Dutt, Executive Director, KVM. He called upon the villagers and women in particular to make Punjab poison free, make food chain of Punjab safe again and to save future generations of Punjab from pesticides. He asked audience to join KVM’s initiative to bring Sarbat-Da-Bhala means wellbeing for all in real terms. He urged upon the women to take-up control of kitchens in their hands to introduce Millets to their platter and develop taste of millet based food among their children.  
In his inaugurating lecture Dr. Sunil Arya on the ‘Kitchen kit- masaledani as medicine kit’. In his lecture, he told the women how they can treat many diseases without going to a doctor’s clinic. Jeera (cumin), ajwain, methi Dana, turmeric, adrak, and kali mirch were used by people for acidity, fever, joint pain and many other diseases and he also shared his views on the importance of millets like bajra, Jowar, ragi, kangani etc.
“Millets are the great source of fiber, iron, calcium which are good to health. it is very useful in case of obesity, diabetes. When you have already these nutritious things at your home then why don’t you use these things to remain healthy? “Asked by Dr. Sunil Arya
In this programme many new experiments did and for those we got very positive response from the public like talk on health issues and quiz competition on cultural and agricultural knowledge. Quiz competition was the unique part of this programme because from 6 years old child to 70-80 years old person participated in it. Everyone wanted to answer. It proved very helpful in creating interest of people and enhanced their knowledge. It was coordinated by Harmel Preet.
To make this programme knowledgeable as well as entertaining, Sammi – a kind of traditional dance created by a girl named Sammi , and Giddha performed by village girls. It was the first Trinjan programme in which boys also participated. They performed Bhangra. It was coordinated by Mr. Gurdeep Singh and Manpreet Singh. They also helped in supported activities.
Main components of Nav-Trinjan were Traditional millet based food and competitions of spinning and nala weaving.  spinning competition was won by Gurmeet Kaur and Nala weaving competition won by Baljinder Kaur.
Villagers relished millet based traditional nutritious food like Bajre, Jowar, Makki di roti, Sarso da saag, bajre, Jowar, makki, kanak de bhoot pinne, moth-Bajre di khichdi, Kheer etc. Children in large number are seems to be crazy for Bajra Bhoot pinaas. It was general feeling that children of Chaina village will demand more Bajra Bhoot-pinnas this year. The garlic and Chibber chatni is most hit thing.
In the experience sharing session by bibiyan which was included on the first time in this programme, Bebe Malkeet Kaur , 70 years old shared her experience of kitchen gardening and reintroduction of millets in kitchen. She told audience that how she is cultivating vegetables in a natural way which tastes better than chemical vegetables. She is doing all things by herself. Her daughter-in-laws helps her sometimes. She spelled out that people of village commented and underestimate her by making fun of her but she never give up. She does not only cultivate vegetables at her home but also spread this message to more and more people. In her address She inspired villagers and gave a rousing call to other women to adopt kitchen gardening and reintroduction of millets in their kitchens. By her enthusiasm Bebe Malkeet Kaur seems to be youngest soldier of entire team.
Amarjeet Sharma, Head of local Vatavaran Panchyat and a practicing natural farming farmer, also shared about her experiences. He stated that he gets high rates for his organic production which chemical farmers never get. He buys only tea and salt from the market, other things are produced by him in his field. He also described the ill effects of chemical farming not only on the health but also on the social and economical and on next generation. He indicated worries on upcoming challenges for next generation who will get everything poisoned. If it is water, air, land, milk or any eatable thing, everything will be poisoned for them. In those situations, how one can think about good and healthy life? So it is our generation’s duty to hand over healthy and poison free land, air, water to our next generation as our elders did.
 Now Nav-Trinjan got a place in the hearts of village people. People offered themselves to be a part of this initiative. We found this when a shepred named Jeet Singh contacted us to be a part of this. He sang a song on his traditional instrument Tumbi. People appreciated and rewarded him.
Awards and certificates awarded to winners and participants. The uniqueness in it was that awards were not given by any known personality but by older village women who are the backbone of our movement. Chief Guest Dr. Sunil Arya, Jeet Singh, Bebe Malkeet Kaur and Bebe Lajwanti Sharma honored with Siropas.
Dr. Sunil Arya had a discussion with young girls in which he gave them tips to remain young and beautiful without spending any single penny by following some tips like avoiding tea, fat, chicken and sugar. He suggested them to bring out millets again in their platter because of its nutritious value. Dr. Arya also listen the health problems of women and prescribed them medicines which are easily available in their kitchens. He stressed on change their wrong food habits and took exercise and yoga daily to keep them healthy. He advised women not to go to doctors for those diseases which can be easily treated at home.
The last but not least traditional as well as nutritious food cooked by village women under the endeavor to reintroduce millets in food chain which are totally missed out even in villages. Food was served to audience by local people. The programme was ended with the hope and positive message to make Chaina village pesticide free.
 KVM will organize around 15 Nav-Trinjan festivals this year.

Author Amanjot Kaur is working with Kheti Virasat Mission as Women Action Coordinator