One small ‘Push’ for mankind: Man to walk 450 km to raise awareness on climate change

Pushpanath Krishnamurthy will use storytelling and interactive knowledge sharing to spread awareness of practices that farmers can use for adapting to climate change.


Push addresses a crowd in Perundurai

Pushpanath Krishnamurthy has embarked on a long journey. A journey on foot. He has already walked 160 kms in Tamil Nadu. Pushpanath – or Push, as he is better known – is on a mission. A mission to raise awareness on climate change, and how it is hurting the most vulnerable sections of our society.

‘Push’ing for a better society

Indian farmers, especially ones that grow food grain, are beset by problems that eat away at their profits. Small holdings, dependence on rains, difficulties in procuring seeds, and lack of proper marketing channel for their produce force them to take loans and begin an unsustainable cycle of farming. Climate change looming over horizon threatens to further reduce the yield per harvest. Unseasonal rain, mist, pests, and drought can play havoc with crop yields.

To raise awareness on the plight of these farmers and climate change, Push is embarking on a 450 km walk from Pondicherry to Ooty, from 20th November to December 10th 2015. He will meet farmers along the way and spread awareness of practices they can use for adapting to the climate. He intends on doing so through storytelling and interactive knowledge sharing.

Push in Pondicherry

Time to take action against climate change

Push is an advocate of fair trade practices, and is keen on enlightening India on its benefits. “I strongly believe that the fair trade method gives us a simple, effective, accountable, and applicable way in which we can tackle problems caused by climate change”, says Push, “I have seen fair trade methods being adopted in different parts of the world, and how many opportunities are present.” He believes that the magic is yet to happen in India; and the moment is now. “A majority of our population falls under the age group of 20 to 30 years”, says Push, “Many of them are first-generation entrepreneurs, and have the power of purchasing. These decisions are connected to doing the ‘right’ thing.” Fair trade practices have also affected sections of society, who have never been able to come to the forefront– women. Women, who have never had a say in any decision or been able to work, have benefitted greatly in being associated with fair trade.

During his walk, Push will talk about fair trade practices that can help the farmer gain more from their crop and boost their welfare. “Let’s say you bought a cotton shirt for Rs. 2000. Do you know how much the cotton farmer gets? Less than Rs. 20. Fair trade offers a solution. Joining the fair trade movement can make sure that the farmer gets a fair price so that he can think about his future, like all of us,” he says. Inspired by Gandhi, these walks are an exercise in taking simple, direct action.

“Push has previously led amazing campaigns for climate change, clean water, and is now going to be walking for Fair Trade from Pondicherry to Ooty, to launch the Fair Trade Twin Towns Puducherry and Auroville movement. He is walking at the same time as the UN climate change conference in Paris where the world leaders are going to meet,” says Devina, who is a campaigner for fair trade.

Push with a few volunteers

Joining hands for a better future:

This walk from the sea shore to the Nilgiri Hills is fuelled by a determination of tackling the issue of climate change. To encourage Push, you can walk with him. Or you could walk 1 km wherever you are and share the photos or videos on its Facebook page. You could register through Facebook to be the group leader of your region or work in small groups, and rally behind Push every day of his walk. Follow the campaign and day-by-day accounts of the walk here.

You may support Push through a fundraiser on Milaap. The funds raised will go towards organizing programmes for farmers, and for workshops and initiatives to educate consumers on fair trade.

The walk has begun. Walk along with Push; walk towards a better planet.

 

 


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