Harvesting Hope in the Suicide Zone | Women Who Challenged Drought, Death and Destiny

Editor | Non-Fiction

As the flames danced all around her small hut, Vidya More had to make a hard choice. She could follow her husband into the fire along with her children. Or she could save herself and her little children from a terrible death.

In Harvesting Hope in the Suicide Zone (Blomsbury, Price Rs 399)Acclaimed journalist Radheshyam Jadhav brings to readers true inspiring stories of women farmers and farm widows, like Vidya and many more, from the ‘farmer suicide zone’ of Maharashtra. These women have battled the tremendous odds—of poverty, misogyny and inequity—stacked against them to herald a silent revolution to overcome agrarian crisis. These feisty women wake up every morning and battle for survival.

Suicide, unlike their husbands, is a luxury they can’t afford.  Extensively researched along with personal interviews, the book captures the women’s stories and constructive struggle and how they discovered in themselves endless reserves of strength. While the men are driven to despair and death by debts, the women have fought their battles and found answers to the crisis. These simple, and often uneducated, women have developed their own methodology and science to manage and tackle drought and are experimenting with every possible option to give themselves and their families a life of dignity. They have taken up tough challenges and are sowing determination and hard work to achieve their dreams.

The book captures their belief that dreams often come true. And hope is what keeps life going.

About the author

Radheshyam Jadhav is an award-winning journalist and communication researcher with twenty years of experience in field reporting. He holds a Ph.D. in journalism and communication science and has been a British Chevening Gurukul Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. A two-time winner of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award, he has also been an Asia Journalism Fellow at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has over twenty awards and scholarships to his credit in these two decades.

With an established record of writing on politics, gender issues, health, agriculture, environment and rural and urban development issues, Radheshyam’s research in empowerment journalism and communication has been based on extensive field visits. He has put oppressed people and their constructive struggle at the centre of the communication process.

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