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Dr. Vandana Shiva - the life of an inspiring woman - eco feminist and activist
While the world moves towards increasing homogeneity, persisting in the cause of food diversity is Dr. Vandana Shiva, who calls herself an “eco-feminist”.
Trained as a physicist and ecologist, Dr. Vandana Shiva continues to be a voice advocating for the cause of diversity in food production and warning of the dangers of relying on big businesses for seeds and other inputs. Among her most famous quotes, “You are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder. It is good to remember that the planet is carrying you.”
Navdanya, the non-profit organization founded by her works to support small farms across India with resources for continuing time-tested traditional agricultural methods that are organic and sustainable. It also functions as a seed bank, to prevent indigenous plant varieties from dying out. She has been awarded the Right Livelihood prize for her work.
Why we find Dr.Vandana Shiva inspiring:
– Because she has the conviction of her cause and persists despite criticism from many quarters
– Because she advocates the cause of women, which is so closely related to agricultural livelihoods and food security
– Because her work has inspired many others to work in the field of ecology
– Because she has written inspiring books such as Stolen Harvest and Water Wars, must reads for anyone interested in the future of the earth and its people.
An interview with Dr. Vandana Shiva
An excerpt from Water Wars
Pic credit: Wikipedia
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There are many mountains I need to climb just to be, just to live my life, just to have my say... because they are mountains you've built to oppress women.
Trigger Warning: This deals with various kinds of violence against women including rape, and may be triggering for survivors.
I haven’t climbed a literal mountain yet
Was busy with the metaphorical ones – born a woman
Fighting for the air that should have come free
And I am one of the privileged ones, I realize that
Yet, if I get passionate, just like you do
I will pay for it – with burden, shame, – and possibly a life to carry
So, my mountains are the laws you overturn
My mountains are the empty shelves where there should have been pills
When people picked my dadi to place her on the floor, the sheet on why she lay tore. The caretaker came to me and said, ‘Just because you touched her, one of the men carrying her lost his balance.’
The death of my grandmother shattered me. We shared a special bond – she made me feel like I was the best in the world, perfect in every respect.
Apart from losing a person who I loved, her death was also a rude awakening for me about the discrimination women face when it comes to performing the last rites of their loved ones.
On January 23 this year, I lost my 95 year old grandmother (dadi) Nirmala Devi to cardiac arrest. She was that one person who unabashedly praised me. The evening before her death she praised the tea I had made and said that I make better tea than my brother (my brother and I are always competing about who makes the best chai).
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