Yashoda and Abhiman Atram sow jowar and a mix of pulses. Yashoda follows behind Abhiman and the bulls and drops seeds through the black funnel-tube. It took them about an hour and a half to sow this acre of land. Jowar and pulses are consumed at home. It was a bit windy so the sound quality isn’t great.
These traveling musicians went from house to house in Mulgavan, singing and asking for donations of jowar.
Soni Atram applies fertilizers to cotton and tur planted on her family’s land. She uses a stick to dig a hole at the base of the plant, drops a quarter of a handful of a mix of chemical fertilizer into it, and brushes dirt back over the fertilizer.
Diksha is my [CAMERA’s] number one fan in Mulgavan. She’s always eager to be in the spotlight and I’m convinced that she is one of the silliest little girls in the world.
Every year thousands of debt ridden cotton farmers throughout India commit suicide, often drinking the very pesticides they used to spray their crops. This has been going on since the 1980s, but few U.S. consumers know anything of this tragedy. Most of us forget that the very shirt that is on our back journeyed thousands of miles before we put it in our shopping bag. We forget that someone somewhere picked the cotton that was eventually transformed into the shirt that we buy with a little cash and a little less consideration. It is my hope that this book will help children and adults alike to see that everything has a process, that there are many many people involved in each process, and, most importantly, that we are a part of these processes and that what we buy matters.
Written for my performing arts class at Sarah Lawrence, “Hidden Costs” highlights the linkages between farmers in India and consumers in America