Originally published in Earth Island Journal
Nearly two decades ago, I stood on a train platform in the city of Bhatinda in the north Indian state of Punjab at sunrise. Flies buzzed. Young men dozed nearby with legs curled up for warmth. Next to me stood Afsar Jafri, an organic farming advocate who had been with us for days, taking my mother and me on a tour of nearby farmlands devastated by decades of chemical agriculture and communities thrown into crippling debt as a result. It had been a bleak journey. Yet, there in that train station, as the sun rose, I couldn’t help but notice our guide wasn’t exuding hopelessness. In fact, quite the opposite.
Photo credit: Mandias