Armed with WhatsApp, music, dupattas and firecrackers, Raj town fights locusts
Jaipur, July 3 : Staying connected on WhatsApp, buying firecrackers in abundance, having a loud music system in your house, waiving dupattas or saafas when locusts attack and you sense danger, this Rajasthan town is well prepared for the winged beasts anytime they decide to swoop down.
Crops worth in lakhs have been damaged by locusts in this small town falling under Alwar district and farmers have therefore decided to stand up on their own to fight the menace, Vijay Yadav from Behror Kisaan Sangharsh Samiti told IANS.
"Among the recommended guidelines by our Samiti, we have asked them to stay connected with farmers/people of neighbouring villagers on WhatsApp as they can keep them updated about locusts movement.
"Farmers should not depend on administration as they have failed to inform us of any locust attack. Now, let's stay connected with farmers of other villagers who can predict the wind direction and eventually inform us if locusts are coming towards our villages," Vijay Yadav said.
"All farmers should check their WhatsApp every hour," says the first point.
The next point is to buy firecrackers in huge stock which can be burst as and when locusts attack their village.
The third point says that loud music should be played by the neighbourhood at the maximum volume to shoo away the swarm that has so far spread out to at least nine heartland states, including the national capital region.
In the fourth point, they have recommended that the tractors horn should be in working condition to be played to its maximum capacity. Siren arrangement should also be there with farmers, as this year the nation is battling its worst-ever desert locusts attack.
Keep vessels of iron, bronze etc ready to be beaten when locusts attack, says the fifth point, evn as the central government has undertaken spraying of insecticide initiative in these west, central and north states.
The sixth point says that women and men should start flying their dupatta/saafa in the air while screaming to inform them about locust attacks.
The locusts rest between 7 pm and 9 pm -- at this point, all farmers should unite and shoo them away, they should never be allowed to rest, says the last point.
Vijay Yadav further said that many farmers in Behror incurred huge losses due to locust attacks. "Surprisingly, none of the officials alerted us of any probable attack of Locusts in Behror which was quite strong on July 2," he added.
Another farmer Ratiram, residing in Khapariya village of Behror, said "I had sown cotton, bajra and jwaar seeds on 16 bigha land. However, locusts came and damaged the fields. There was no warning given by the administration. Till the time, I reached the field, all my work had gone down the drain.
"Even the fields were not mine. I was working on borrowed land. Lakhs of seeds cost and my work both have gone now. Why does the administration fail to inform us when information these days flies with the speed of the light," he said.
Vijay Yadav said every farmer here have the same story and hence "we have advised them to spray pesticides on crops and they shall be given 100 per cent grant from cooperative society".
Behror SDO Santosh Kumar Meena-I and BDO Devendra Yadav were contacted to find out how the administration was pitching in but they did not take the call.
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