Street play on World Food dayThe street play spread awareness about the ill-affects of genetically modified food on World Food in Delhi. © Greenpeace/Anshuman Akash

“Khidki ke peeche kya hai, Khidki ke aage kya hai: Mon-san-to!”

These were the lines from the street play performed at Dastakar Mela on World Food day. The play questioned the proposed regulatory system that our government is pushing this winter session in Parliament to regulate genetically modified (GM) crops. The proposed authority in question is the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) which seems to have a mandate pushed by the biotechnology industry.

The street play which had all the elements of a good entertainer was aimed at spreading awareness about the health impacts of genetic engineering in our food and the adverse impacts on the livelihoods of farmers. It also brought to light the BRAI bill which is a threat to the citizens of this country as it will become a single window clearance system for all genetically modified (GM) crops.

The powerful message of the play caught the attention of the public who were otherwise spending their Sunday afternoon shopping with their families. Inspite of the laughter that could be heard from the crowd there was a sense of shock and concern about this bill and the clearance it will give to poison our food with the risky technology, marketed by companies like Monsanto as the salvation from world hunger.

After the play, the audience participated in making a rangoli with the message, ‘YES TO SAFE FOOD, NO TO THE BRAI BILL.’ At first it seemed a mammoth task to fill the 2 meter rangoli with organic seeds and vegetables, but people of all ages came forward and finished the job in 2 hours. The result was a beautiful piece of art, sending a strong message from the people to keep the BRAI bill off our plates.

People got together to make a rangoli on World Food day in Delhi

© Greenpeace/Anshuman Akash

In an atmosphere where craftsmen, artists and traditional crafts in India were celebrated; Greenpeace, Beej Bachao Andolan , Alliance for Safe Food, farmers from Uttrakhand along with the residents in Delhi celebrated the right to safe food and the right to Say NO to GM foods in a fun and colourful way.

Wishing you all a belated happy World Food day! Let’s pledge to keep our food safe from chemicals, pesticides and GMOs.