Last monsoon, two farmers had been washed away in the flood waters while trying to save their crops in Solapur district of Maharashtra. The same district has witnessed a high suicide rate among farmers.
Heart-rending stories of farmers’ struggles were put together in a short film by Vishal Vijay Garad, a lecturer and son of a farmer couple. He owns five acres of land in Pangri village of Solapur district, but his parents Vijay and Mohini are active farmers who grow jowar, wheat and soyabean. Mr Garad has heard and seen innumerable stories of farmers incurring heavy losses due to unseasonal or incessant rain. He blames the erratic rain pattern on climate change taking place due to wrong policies adopted by successive governments. About 10 farmers in Solapur have died by suicide in the past year, he claims.
With distressing stories playing on his mind, Mr Garad decided to write, direct and act in a short film titled ‘Buchad’ which means all harvested crops piled up at one place. In the film, he has played the character of Bhim Pawar, a soyabean farmer. His crop is almost ready for harvesting, but is washed away due to heavy rains following floods. While trying to save the crop, Bhim Pawar also gets washed away. The film ends with him floating in water, firmly gripping the soyabean crop in hand.
There was not a single dry eye as the last scene of Buchad played out during the Jai Chandiram Memorial 3rd National Community Media Film Festival at Krishi Vignan Kendra run by Deccan Development Society at Didgi near Zaheerabad on Saturday. Not surprising, it won the best short film award.
Chandrika, a young girl who was part of audience, broke down during the film and said her parents too had suffered due to crop loss.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr Garad said, “Wrong policies of successive governments have resulted in climate change and farmers are the first casualty. I made this film to explain the pathetic conditions of farmers.”