Farmer’s crisis, Our crisis

I look at the food on my plate
and think of those who grew it
With the few rupees I spent
I trust I paid  those
who put the effort
and those whose land it was.

What I pay is meagre
and it does not reach
whose produce reaches me
For their children remain hungry,
those who empower me.

And if I go to a good restaurant
I pay hundreds, even thousands
of rupees more
none of which is even meant
for those who grew the main course
while those who wait
and those who manage
and those who count
keep the bill
and the tip.

When I buy a good cotton t-shirt
I pay hundreds, even thousands more
some for the person
who thought of the great slogan
a lot for the logo of the company
that  made ’em
and the shop that displayed ’em
but for the cotton that the farmers grew
what they must have got, does it need
even ten fingers to count?

Its not that their children
get to wear the cotton
whether woven by hand or the mill
for they are deep in crisis
those who grew the clothes
that define me.

And it is not that I don’t spend,
I splurge at the mall
where I shop,
I have caterers and cuisine
from several countries
for no one should
go without great food
and a grand dessert
at the parties I throw –
except for the farmer
and those who
labored on the fields.

Isn’t it strange
that it is easier
for their products to
reach me
than for my money to reach them
and yet we need to find a way
so that it isn’t they who pay.

–Ravi Kuchimanchi


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