The Sansad Ratna Awards 2017, organized by Prime Point Foundation, the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras and the e-magazine PreSense was successfully held at IIT Madras on the 27th of May. Featuring some of the best parliamentarians and social-activists in our country today, the Sansad Ratna Awards Committee also organized the 6th Edition of the National Seminar on Politics, Democracy and Governance.
The panel discussions on National Vision 2022 (Agriculture) and Tamil Nadu Vision 2022 witnessed tremendous participation from the students and other members of the civil society who had assembled at the ICSR Auditorium on a hot Saturday afternoon, with the discussion on Agriculture drawing especially heavy crowds due to the eminence and the stature of the panelists.
The panel discussion on National Vision 2022 (Agriculture) was chaired by Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, Member of Parliament representing Dharmapuri. A former Union Health Minister, Dr. Anbumani spoke about the importance of respecting farmers and giving them their due by giving them a fair price for their produce, referring to C Subramaniam's suggestion that farmers ought to be paid 50% over and above the cost price of growing their crops.
The presence of Dr. Rajendra Singh, the "Waterman of India" and the recipient of the Stockholm Water Prize, Mr. SS Rajasekar, Mg. Trustee, National Agro Foundation and Mr. S Ranganathan, General Secretary, Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association added to the stature of the panel.
Dr. Rajendra Singh emphasized on the need to return to indigenous systems of water conservation and irrigation and bemoaned the fact that engineers and scientists today looked down at our traditional systems of irrigation, an opinion that was seconded by Mr. Ranganathan. Describing farmers as scientists, Mr. Ranganathan emphasized the need for sustainable agricultural practices.
Mr. Rajasekar spoke on the need for improving the lives of farmers by organizing them into Farmer Producer Organizations, and the session came to an end with Dr. Anbumani reiterating the need to respect farmers.
As a message to students, Dr. Anbumani urged them to plant one sapling every year on their birthdays, emphasizing the important role that youth had to play in the development of our country.