1st National Virtual Congress for Mahila Kisan launched

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Visakhapatnam, Jan 5 (UNI) India's First 'National Virtual Congress for Mahila Kisan' was launched today, allowing women farmers in remote areas to seek expert advice on agricultural problems of their day-to-day life through tele-conferencing.

The Virtual Congress was inaugurated at the on-going Indian Science Congress at Andhra University here by Minister of State for Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chaudhary with women farmers from five States-- Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Orissa, Maharashtra and Rajasthan-- interacting with experts through tele-link facilities at their village resource centres (VRCs).

Women farmers at 340 VRCs watched the tele-conferencing as their counterparts from the remote areas such as Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh, suicide-ravaged Vidharbha region of Maharashtra and the drought-hit desert area of Pokharan in Rajasthan, expressed their concerns and sought expert advice.

Their demands related to women-friendly farm equipment, joint patta (joint land rights), seed bank, community grain centre, cretche facilities, crop credit and insurance, grain drying facilities, and ways to treat diseases contracted while farming.

Agricultural expert M S Swaminathan, whose foundation along with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was responsible for launching the Virtual Congress, said he would prepare a charter for mahila kisan incorporating these recommendations, and present it to the Government to be made into a national policy.

Ms Chaudhary said she would soon call a roundtable meeting of shoemakers in Delhi to ask them to prepare PVC gumboots for women farmers who were prone to bacterial diseases such as Leptrospirosis while working in water-filled fields.

She said she would put her full might to see that the demand for joint land rights for women was translated into a policy.

UNI YJ YA DS1358

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