BENGALURU: Cotton farmer and his family from Dhajala village of Gujarat had never thought they would meet people wearing clothes made from their produce.
Nagajibhai was felicitated on Tuesday by students of , Bengaluru, who thanked him for growing the organic cotton used in making the fabric of their uniforms.
He visited the school as part of Fairtrade Day celebrations. , a non-profit organization, launched a Fairtrade Pilot School Programme in India in 2014 with the idea of making young people aware of the farming crisis.
The Gujarat farmer has been into cotton cultivation for 25 years. “Nine years ago when I was not into , my land turned barren and developed cracks due to regular use of chemical fertilizers. So I decided to go organic. I’m a happy farmer today because I’m not harming nature,” Nagajibhai, who was accompanied by his wife and two daughters, told the students.
Students of Vidyashilp Academy, which has been named India’s first Fairtrade School, signed on India’s largest organic cotton T-shirt to spread the campaign’s message and advocate use of organic products. The programme aims to promote responsible consumption and production, by way of eradicating social and environmental exploitation in food and fashion supply chains.
“We wouldn’t have invited Nagajibhai had Fairtrade not introduced him to us as the person behind what we wear and why it’s important to use organic products that don’t harm the environment,” Shantanu Garg, a Class 10 student, told TOI.
“It was inspiring to know how he’s making his daughters study to get into a non-farming profession. His daughter is a state topper. I hope we get to meet more people like him to know the ground reality of the farming crisis,” said another student from Class 10.
“By joining the Fairtrade movement, our students will be part of the global community of ethical consumers. They will influence change and contribute towards reducing social and environmental exploitation. Shilpites will strive to contribute to sustainability goals,” said Kalai Selvi, head of the school.
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