Mobile Biodiversity Festival

On 14th January 2011, women from 70 villages where the Deccan Development Society (DDS) works, vowed to guard their traditional wealth of biodiversity farming. This was at the 13th Annual Biodiversity Festival organised by DDS - a festival organised to celebrate the return of local seeds into active farming systems and a time for the farmers of the Deccan dryland region to celebrate their food systems, seed sovereignty and rich biodiversity. The Festival not only symbolises the celebration of the agri-biodiversity of the region but also the way the poor and the women have retrieved their dignity and autonomy.

Since 1999, the annual Mobile Biodiversity Festival of DDS has made its presence felt as a unique festival of rural communities, dialoguing with fellow farmers and citizens about ecologically sustainable agriculture, community-seed sovereignty and the ideas of local production, local consumption and local markets.

A colourful caravan of tastefully decorated bullock carts, heralding the joys of food sovereignty, journeys across villages in a selected area. It symbolises an agrarian system which is capable of sustaining the lives and livelihoods of the entire rural community. Hundreds of traditional varieties of seeds (of the Deccan dryland region) are displayed in the caravan, which is welcomed by the people of all the villages it passes through.


Contributed by: Prarthana, CEE Ahmedabad

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Muslin Fabric

This gossamer light muslin fabric has found mention in the writings of many visitors to India, even as far back as the 3rd century B.C. A great deal of muslin was produced in and exported from Bengal. Dacca was the main region where cotton was cultivated due to the high humidity of the region, which prevented the delicate thread from breaking on contact with the air. The cotton spun was very white since the Brahmaputra and the Ganges Rivers have bleaching properties. The chikan workers in Bengal used this fine muslin for embroidery.

Stitches in Chikankari

Double-Star Earring, Peacock Feather's Eye, Sidhual, Makra, Mandarzi, Bulbulchashm, Tajmahal, Phooljali, Phanda, Dhoom, Gol, murri, Janjeera, Keel, Kangan, Bakhia, Dhania Patti, lambi Murri, Kapkapi, Karan Phool, Bijli, Ghaspatti, Rozan, Meharki, Kaj, Chameli, Chane ki Patti, Balda, Jora, Pachni, Tapchim Kauri, Hathkati and Daraj of various types.