Indian may have a high number of women farmers in the country who remain unrecognised but that doesn’t mean they cannot empower themselves even if the government doesn’t recognise them. One of the key aspects of empowerment is accessibility. And clearly, the village women farmers of Lakshmipur in Telangana have cracked that code by learning how to ride a scooty and then owning one. Now, these women farmers commute to their farmlands on a scooty and sometimes help other women laborers in reaching their destinations too.

The tiny village of Lakshmipur has a mere population of 5,000. Of them, 1,200 families are dependent on agriculture. With the accessibility of a scooty, these women are able to do most of their chores without the help of men and reach their farmlands without having to wait for buses for long hours or other modes of transport. In their free time, they also help in transporting vegetables to Jagtial district market and other markets too.

One of the farmers, S Saritha told The New Indian Express that women farmers in Lakshmipur face dual marginalisation by being farmers and women. They have to work doubly hard to compete with men. “We are using two-wheelers to save time as land holdings are about three km away from their village,” she says.

Around 70 such farmers travel to their farmland on a scooty. Lakshmipur farmers grow paddy, turmeric, ginger, banana, groundnuts and vegetables and their most preferred crop to grow is of tomatoes.

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Farming as a profession isn’t a chosen profession for women as they mostly do a major amount of work in their father, brother or husband’s land. By law, women farmers don’t have the authority to own land in the Indian constitution and yet when the agrarian crisis strikes, women farmers are mostly neglected. In areas hit by the agrarian crisis, men in large numbers migrate to semi-urban or urban areas to earn a better livelihood for their families while women are left behind to carry out their domestic duties and become care providers to family members and also look after farming also.

The tiny village of Lakshmipur merely has a population of just 5,000. Of them, 1,200 families are dependent on agriculture. With the accessibility of a scooty, these women are able to most of their chores without the help of men and reach their farmlands without having to wait for buses for long hours or other modes of transport.

Few organisations and particularly commercial organisations emphasise the empowerment of women farmers. One such is Mahindra and Mahindra, which launched a program, Prerna, in 2017 to empower women working in the agriculture sector by promoting efficient and ergonomic farm tools and equipment.

“The project will be initially launched in the state of Odisha, with the intention to positively impact the lives of over 1,500 families across 30-plus villages,” it had said during its launch.

The first project under Prerna aimed to address issues of long working hours with tools and equipment not suited for women with the promotion of women-friendly, efficient and ergonomic farm tools and equipment.

Picture credit- TNIE

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