THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: 'Agri-Culture', the first-ever organic theatre launched in the state by the Bharath Bhavan in association with WIWA Cultural Development Organisation, will conduct a slew of events in the future. Encouraging agricultural practices, supporting farmers and creating a sense of farming among youngsters are some of the initiatives planned by them, said Pramod Payyannur, Secretary of Bharath Bhavan.
"Malayalees have become consumeristic and are ready to eat anything they get. Such a culture has resulted in an increased rate of food-related cancer in the state. We have left our land fallow; and are waiting for rice, fruits and vegetables to come from neighbouring states," said Pramod, who's the brain behind the initiative.
To address the issue and instill a love for farming among youngsters, Pramod came up with the idea of Agri-culture - the organic theatre. Launched at Kalamachal village of Vamanapuram panchayat in July, the initiative was not just paddy cultivation but was a memorable festival for agri-lovers. Ten acres of fallow land was used for paddy cultivation.
The organic theatre movement gains prominence at a time when farmer suicides are being reported from across the state, the organic theatre movement would be a blessing to farmers, feel Pramod.
"In this initiative, not only farmers, but students, IT professionals, teachers and doctors and people from different walks of life joined hands, right from sowing the seed till the final stage," he said.
The farmers themselves performed the play 'Koottukrishi' by Edasseri.
"The rehearsals and the visit of students from colleges and IT firms created a relaxed environment. We did not feel like we were working. It was more fun; We enjoyed our work in the fields," said Thulasi, a farmer.
According to Pramod, the students were curious and they wanted to get involved in sowing and harvesting. Many of them wanted to come and visit the farm again.
"I have heard of 'Theyyam' and 'Vamozhi Pattukal' but through Agriculture, I was able to watch it live. We were curious about the entire procedure,” said Anju Sajeev, studying in Vismayas Max Animation Studio, who visited the field. "I'm looking forward to more initiatives like this," she added.
Pramod says that art and theatre should not be confined to auditoriums. "Instead they should go to the fields where they can make the change. This will be the best thing that an artist can do for the coming generation," he said.
While talking about the future plans of Agri-culture Pramod Payyanoor said, "We are planning to extend Agri-culture movement to fishing, and fruit cultivation. The initiative will be carried out in other districts. As of now, we have land in Kannur and Kottayam to promote our movement."
A decision has been taken to give the paddy cultivated from her to the farmers of flood-affected Kuttanad.