This tribal farmer preserves 40 indigenous paddy seeds and incurs Rs 30,000 loss every year
Wayanad, May 9: “Should break their legs,” rages 66-year-old Cheruvayal Raman (fondly called Ramettan). He had bought some sardines from the market. The minute they were immersed in water to wash, all of them dissolved. “It seems they were called Oman sardines. They were full of chemicals and preservatives,” he says.
Ramettan indeed has the right to be angry because he has been toiling for the last 56 years to preserve traditional methods of farming. He never uses any chemicals. “We live for food and we do not get it without poison. Should break their legs,” his anger was not against the shopkeeper who sold the sardine but against the system.
In the Kerala farm sector, Ramettan, a Kurichiya tribe by birth, is leading a battle to preserve age-old traditions of cultivation that were prevalent among the Adivasis of Wayanad. But it is not an easy one. And therein lies his relevance.