Thursday, May 7, 2009

Garden Tutors, poop for food, cruelty and poverty

I wanted to put these in "Links I liked" but had a short commentary to add with each one. So I made a separate post of them all.

1. PSFK put up this great post about Garden Tutors. It got me thinking about what if we gave more educated farming tutorials to farmers in India and other parts of the world, to both start kitchen gardens of their own (so that they have something to eat during the year that is nutritious), as well as to teach them better farming techniques to survive the drought and pests. "Agricultural Tutors" of sorts.

I just loved this Garden Tutors program and how people are signing up madly. I'm a bit of an amateur gardener and I think working with the earth really makes you want to protect and take care of it better.

2. This post from Wronging Rights, downright cracked me up. When nuts rule the world, this is the kind of nonsense we can expect.

3. I found this post from the PSD Blog about the differences in the way women and men are approached in terms of entrepreneurship to be fascinating. My own personal view from my fieldwork has been that women face a myriad of pushback in terms of entrepreneurship, particularly if they are poor. Firstly their lifestyles are such that they have very little time to build a business --- between motherhood, housechores (which take a LOT of time), their job, and taking care of their demanding families (husbands and in-laws)--- the playing field is not even. Women who often speak of starting a business get shot down quickly by their families, by their communities and of course by banking institutions (though micro-credit is changing this a little bit).

4. Alanna Shaikh in Blood and Milk, muses about whether poverty causes cruelty or inequality?? I had to really pause and think about this. I have to disagree with both of these. I know plenty of people who have been extremely poor, harboring the several injustices and inequalities that are unpardonable, and I've never seen them be cruel. Cruelty comes from a lack of morals, and human weakness or greed. Cruelty happens irrespective of socio-economic circumstances, religions, castes or cultures. And in this case, i had to ask for a definition of cruelty. It seemed so unfair to label someone as "cruel" who had unknowingly given his child up as a servant (and she had ended up as a prostitute instead). This is one of those hard questions to answer.

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