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A pest of a problem

SAVDHANI HI SAMAJHDARI HAI 15 mins . Agrochemicals Information Centre . Coordinated by S P Vishnoi

 
By Jayanta Bhattacharya
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

A film meant to shoot trouble< THE Germans may have stopped importing Indian tea treated with chemical fertilisers; and pesticides, but the use of these cannot be entirely prohibited because farming is the mainstay of an estimated 70 million people in our country.

The film is an effort to educate farmers on the safe use of pesticides. The story revolves around a farmer whose son consumes pesticides and is rushed to a hospital. In the film, the, doctor Who cures the child explains the precautions to be taken while handling such chemicals. The doctor's advice is interspaced with instructions from Kapil Batra (more famous as the Zee television news-caster).

As the doctor discusses their hazards, Batra's commentary - set in a rural background - advises farmers to use gloves and masks while handling pesticides and make purchases from registered sellers, only after verifying the date of manufacture, Also, the pesticides are to be bought in sealed containers and kept in airy rooms, away from the reach of children, animals, food and fire. Moreover, tips on providing first-aid such as loosening the garments of the victim have been given extra emphasis. In order to drive home the, point, the do's and dont's appear as titles simultaneously alongside Batra's narration.

While the film - with technical assistance from the ministry of agriculture - is as direct and mundane as possible, it leaves much to be desired, as far as an eye for detail is concerned. For example, Shammi Narang, the Doordarshan news-caster, appears in a hi- life version of the rural kurta jacket to dole out the opening lines in his 'oh-so-professional' style, and Batra does his job later in a well-creased shirt and trousers! Even the farmer and his wife are dressed in costumes which appear to have been just delivered by dry cleaners while their abode is as ramshackle and sparsely furnished as any in an usual Indian village.

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