Don’t let drugs kill Punjab, don’t farm chemicals: Harbhajan Singh ahead of polls
Harbhajan Singh says he wants a “Punjab where farmers lead the nation with environmentally sustainable agriculture”.india Updated: Jan 12, 2017 08:50 IST
The Punjab of my childhood was a lovely place with lot of open spaces, green fields, and warm people who were always ready to welcome you into their homes and hearts. I remember as youngsters, we could take a dip in any tubewell or raid any sugarcane field and have a feast; no questions were asked. I broke almost every window pane around my house in Jalandhar without being boycotted by neighbours.
Things have changed and how. Now I hear about youngsters, with so much potential, taking to drugs, which is alarming. Drugs will not take them anywhere; sports and studies will. Please don’t let drugs kill Punjab.
I am also worried about the rising incidence of cancer in the state. I hear about the train from Bathinda, the Cancer Express that carries people for treatment to Rajasthan. Sadly we have brought this scourge upon ourselves through unhealthy farming practices. Our body is what we eat. And we have made a mess of it by spraying our crops and vegetables with deadly chemicals.
I am proud of our farmers reaping a rich harvest, but they have to think of the land as well. Growing four crops a year with the help of chemicals may be profitable but has anyone considered what it is doing to our land? It is the same with our water. Every year, the water table dips further. Don’t milk the land dry. Don’t turn Punjab into a barren desert.
I am also dismayed by the urban sprawl eating into our fields. What will happen to our eco system if we build houses everywhere? What will happen to our green fields ? We must stop this mindless building drive.
I wish I could bring back the old times. I like the khulla-dulla, hara (open and green) Punjab with its warm neighbourhoods. I want a happy Punjab. A Punjab where farmers lead the nation with environmentally sustainable agriculture. Let’s join our hands and hearts to make Punjab a much better and happier place.
(As told to Manraj Grewal Sharma)