City folk encouraged to learn how rice is grown | india | Hindustan Times
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City folk encouraged to learn how rice is grown

Grassroutes, a social enterprise based in Mumbai, is organising a two-day trip to Purushwadi, a village in Mahrashtra, so people can learn how rice is cultivated.

india Updated: Jul 12, 2010 13:41 IST
Naomi Canton

Most Mumbaikars eat rice every day. But with the fast lives of city folk revolving around computers and mobiles, few have any idea how their staple food is grown. Now Grassroutes, a social enterprise based in Mumbai, is organising a two-day trip to Purushwadi, a village in Mahrashtra, so people can learn how rice is cultivated.

The trip will start from Dadar station at 6.30am on the morning of Saturday, July 17 when guests, accompanied by a Grassroutes guide, will take a train to Kasara and from there, they will drive in a jeep to the first village.

At 9 am, they will reach Purushwadi and take a light swim in the river. This will be followed by trekking and abseiling, and in the evening, a walk around the valley. At night, participants will eat in village homes and stay in cottages or the homes.

On Sunday morning, they will milk the cattle. Then, they will pick rice saplings from one field and plant them in another, as well as plough fields with a buffalo to loosen the soil for planting. The rice is then harvested until September.

Rural connect
“It rains 24 hours a day at this time of year in Purushwadi,” says Darren Lobo, manager (operations) at Grassroutes. The villagers will provide people with a bamboo and plastic raincoat they can wear while working, he adds.

After that, the visitors will chop wood for cooking, then go and see some rice storage and learn about different varieties of rice, and those that helped with the rice cultivation, will even be given a kilo of rice as a gift.

“It’s hard work but it’s fun,” Lobo says. “The idea is to get people to know and appreciate how rice is grown. In India, rice is the first food a new bride offers her husband. It is also the first food offered to a newborn. It is symbol of India and yet most Indians don’t even know how it’s grown. Besides, villagers really appreciate it if city folk show interest in their lives as well,” he adds.

The rice farming adventure will take place from July 17 to July 18. The cost is Rs 2,000 per head. This includes travel from Mumbai, accommodation, meals and all activities.

Call: 8108133016 or go to www.grassroutes.co.in