I started the day bright and early with a cycle ride and rally. Our team even organised a bullock cart for the event and decorated it with Move for Earth banners. India is one of the few places in the world where people rely on traditional, non-fossil fuel-powered transportation and bullock carts are one such example. I then attended a training on organic farming and sustainable agriculture and had the pleasure of meeting several local farmers who are working towards this transition. Many of them have also been invited to our Odisha Farmers Citizen’s Jury on March 4th. So even though I couldn’t speak to all of them, I’m looking forward to meeting them again in a few days’ time.
In the afternoon, after a quick pit stop for some refreshing sugarcane juice along the roadside, I cycled to Angul, where a Millet Product Show was being hosted. This was such a fun event because I watched a live cooking show and learned new techniques and recipes using millet. It is such a versatile grain and I want all of India to know about it. I may be a little biased because millet is one of my favourite foods, but it does have incredible health benefits, AND it is adaptable, meaning it can grow in various regions and climates. These properties combined make it worth the investment as farmers and the agricultural community work towards becoming more climate resilient. I also had the privilege of connecting with some of the Orissa team from the Foundation for Ecological Security and learning more about the organisation’s important work restoring land across India with the help of village institutions.
Today was a very wholesome day spent talking with farmers and the land. During my ride, I also came across a couple road signs about frequent elephant crossings and their presence in the area. It was a reminder of how closely we live with wildlife and how addressing the climate crisis is also intricately linked to their habitat and survival. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the bountiful presence of nature and other animals all around us and today helped ground me in that fact, whether it was easy access to fresh juice or being able to casually see a wild animal. Every aspect of this cycle ride teaches me something new about our environment and communities, as well as about myself and for that, I am extremely lucky and grateful.