Thursday, May 11, 2006
New Delhi (UNI): Indian farmers for once could have luck on their side with well known singer Lucky Ali singing for their cause. Lucky Ali sang at a concert here last evening in Siri Fort Auditorium as a part of 'Oxfam Make Trade Fair ' campaign, urging people to sign a petition to save Indian farmers from exploitation. The Oxfam campaign is battling against what they term as unfair WTO agricultural trade rules that force developing South Asian countries to open their markets for foreign farmers to bring in their produce. The resultant cheap imports force Indian farmers to sell their produce at low rates leading to rise in poverty levels. Meanwhile, the US and several European countries have all but barred the Indian agricultural goods from entering their markets by putting up various non-tariff barriers.
Lucky Ali's association with Oxfam has led him to field trips in various villages and one-to-one interaction with poverty-stricken farmers. He said, "Indian farmers don't get any representation from the agricultural sector, while America and EU go all the way to provide subsidies to their farmers which almost covers their cost of production. India does give incentives and agricultural loans but later there is no follow up." Being a farmer himself, Lucky Ali believes it is his duty to stand for this humanitarian cause, speak up for the Indian farmers and spark motivation in them. "This is the only way to save our farmers from committing suicide, as agriculture is not a business in India but a way of life," he added.
Asked about his love for music and new bollywood ventures, he said, "music is secondary, it is my hobby and bollywood is nowhere in the picture for the time being." Apart from doing concerts for Oxfam, Lucky Ali is busy working on his new album 'Ixsiu'.
M K Arjunan honoured
BBC Radio 1 station of the year