Vijay Jardhari

Vasundhara Sanman

Farmer and Activist, Sustainable Land Management, Biodiversity / Nature, Conservation, Climate Change, and the recipient of Indira Gandhi Environment Award, 2009.

He is a farmer hailing from Uttarakhand. In his youth, he was a part of the Chipko Movement of the 1970s which was inspired by the Gandhian philosophy, underlined the ecological values of a forest as a provider and conserver of the soil, water and air, and provider of 5 Fs – Food, Fodder, Fertilizer, Fuel and Fibre. The Chipko movement helped him to understand the ill-effects of the Green Revolution policies and practices, and initiated Beej Bachao Andolan (Save Seeds Movement) in the mid 1980s, which was an informal group of farmers and activists seeking to conserve and preserve local and traditional seeds, crops and traditional agricultural principles and practices. Because of its guiding principles, which prioritizes small farmers at the core of society, Beej Bachao Andolan continues to be an unregistered organisation, receiving no funds, and pursues no initiatives. Over the past few years, he has also begun to communicate directly with customers as an appropriate step. Despite their inherent affinity, small farmers and consumers have stayed alienated from one another.

He identified three significant accomplishments of BBA: 1. When he began promoting a return to traditional seeds, crops, and practices in the mid-1980s, the "development" crowd mocked and mistreated him. He stands justified now that the preservation of local and traditional seeds is a generally acknowledged idea. 2. He currently possesses hundreds of local varieties of grains, millets, pulses, lentils, oilseeds, spices, and other items in his collection or knows about them. Instead of selling seeds, he freely provides them and encourages others to follow suit locally. 3. The "Barahnaja" system, a customary mixed cropping method that was severely marginalized and eventually lost to the onslaught of "new" and "commercial" agriculture, is on the path of revival. A true crusader of the seed movement in the hills, renowned for his extensive knowledge about indigenous seeds.