IRIIM’S WORK ON ORGANIC -A Brief Report
IRIIM is situated at Mourigram, Howrah district of West Bengal. We treat patients with Intregrated System of Medicine which includes Acupuncture, Yoga, Naturopathy and Organic Balanced Diet. It has been running for more than 32 years. From our experience we have seen there is no alternative of balanced organic diet for healthy living. But it seemed that it would be impossible to get poison-free food. How could we get poison- free food where almost no peasant could imagine of cultivation without using chemical fertilizer and pesticide?
At first we used to buy organic food from a private concern and from a few nearby cultivators. Those organic foods were not completely chemical free and pesticide free. We stop buying from them. Our International Advisor, SriKumar Poddar always used to tell - ‘If you are determined to eat organic food, you will seek all possible ways to get it’. We turned 6.5 decimal open spaces inside IRIIM Bhawan into a cultivable land and started growing vegetables and fruits using only organic manures and pest repellant. As it was not sufficient to meet the requirement of hospital’s need, we started to find out nearby vegetable-growers who were not using any chemical fertilizer and pesticides.
In the mean time, on May 25, 2009, Sundarban at the south of West Bengal was affected by AILA Cyclone. We arranged a relief work to support the distressed people. With the help of other local organizations, we supplied drinking water, health food, utensils, mosquito net and winter garments to them. We had arranged medical camp also. International Service Society has supported for Relief and Rehabilitation work done by us and like minded organizations.
In August 2009, Udaynarayanpur of Howrah district of W.B. was submerged under flood. As a result crops of Haimantic Paddy and other crops were completely destroyed and marginal farmers were in miserable condition. We distributed organic rice and blankets as relief. We discussed with them about rehabilitation and they asked for our help in next cropping of potato. We proposed them to cultivate without any chemical fertilizer and pesticide.
We arranged a training programme on organic farming for them at Devipur village of Udaynarayanpur. 30 farmers participated here. We arranged this training programme with the help of Pradyut Das of Chetana & Organic Agricultural Scientist Dr. Anupom Pal, working on preservation of indigenous rice for 10 years, helped us for training. He also guides us regularly.
10 farmers of Devipur village have cultivated potato without using any chemical fertilizer and pesticide. 15 farmers have grown other vegetable using bio- fertilizer.
Block Agriculture dept. has been promoting a bio- village programme at Ulia of Sankrail Block of Howrah district of W.B, for the last 18 weeks. We also have been participating there. Beside this we are also communicating with other local farmers.
In this context, IRIIM has already assigned one Full Time motivated person for development and spread of organic farming.
He has already participated in a training programme of Bio-intensive farming organized by Ramkrishna Mission, Narendrapur. We participated and interacted with the farmers and agriculture executives in the Agriculture fair at Amta Block, Howrah from Feb. 15-19, 2010 organised by State Agriculture Dept.
On the Feb. 22, 2010, Vivekananda Institute of bio- technology, Neempith Dt.24 Pgs.South, organised a round table discussion on scaling up of sustainable agriculture through organic farming principles aimed at enhancing rural livelihoods. We exchanged our experience in that seminar.
We have got encouraging response from a cancer patient and a renal failure patient by giving organic food along with drugless therapies.
During Uttar Pradesh tour, we met R & D persons of Sardar Ballav Bhai Pattel Agriculture Institute, Meerut. They are working on bio-controls and assured us to help.
Here in Organic farming we are facing some problems like:-
- Lack of Consciousness and Confidence
- There are small plot of lands.
- Most of the marginal framers have no personal land.
- Proper Organic Seed and other Support
Organic Potato Cultivation
- To develop one or two Model composite Farm.
- To develop many small kitchen gardens in surrounding area.
- To promote among patients and patient parties about organic farming as a way of healthy living.
- To set up a separate permanent Exhibition cum Sale counter of organic naturopathic food & health products and medicinal herbs at IRIIM Bhawan.