Bhubaneswar: A wave of farmer suicides and crop burning incidents swept Odisha in 2017. The pain and anguish of marginal farmers and sharecroppers, however, were lost in the pages of newspapers.
Amid such incidents, the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ had become a joke for them. The hardship, frustration, confusion and concerns of a farmer of western Odisha have found voice in a short film, Putla, released recently.
The film begins with a dream sequence of a farmer hanging himself after crop loss, which jolts the lead actor out of his slumber. The lead actor, JR Jeevan, goes on to speak about the adversities a farmer faces and the lackadaisical attitude of the government and the people.
In the movie, Jeevan cites various problems faced by a farmer, like the lack of finance and knowledge, climate change and government schemes that fail to reach them.
Through this short film, Jeevan and team want to convey to the farmers that suicide is never a solution. “Farmers take the extreme step for a lot of reasons. The incapability to cater to the needs of the family often disturbs and pains them. The misery, however, doesn’t end with their death,” he said.
They also expect the viewers to realize the importance of farmers in their life. “The food we eat is grown by farmers. Think about them. If not anything, show some gratitude at least before having the first bite,” he expressed.
The title of the movie, Putla (scarecrow), has been used as an allegory hinting at people who prefer to turn a blind eye to their plight and turn mute spectators. “If you look at it the other way round, farmers too, are like scarecrows before they die,” Jeevan further added.
The film shakes us up to the realities of life and that of the farmers of our country. The video uploaded on YouTube has so far garnered 4.6k views.