Journalists, stay in touch with farmers

Last week Sainath spoke at a seminar organised by the University of Madras’s Department of Journalism and Communication on the university’s Chepauk campus.

Here is The Hindu’s coverage of the event.

“The average national daily’s five-year average — stories relating to rural India is 0.67%… that goes up during elections. Population in rural India: 69%, as per the 2011 census,” said Mr. Sainath. Urging journalists to be in touch with farmers instead of covering governmental departments relating to agriculture, Mr. Sainath said, “….so when something happens in agrarian India, the people sent out to cover it don’t know a damn thing. They haven’t covered it,” he said. He added that between the 1991 and the 2001 censuses, the farmer population declined by 7.2 million; between the 2001 and 2011 censuses, there was a 7.7 million drop. “You lost 15 million farmers in 20 years on an average rate of losing 2,000 farmers per day.”

The Times, Chennai wrote about the event

“There are zero jobs in the industry . Many farmers are working as cooks and cleaners in canteens of information technology companies,” – Sainath said