While up to 60 years ago millet occupied 40 per cent of the lands cultivated with cereals in India, today – in spite of its enormous nutritional value – its production has dwindled to 11 per cent. So now in the hills of Niyamgiri, in the eastern state of Orissa, where malnutrition is very widespread and 80 per cent of the population go hungry, the women of the Dongria Kondh tribe, inhabitants of the forests in the surrounding mountains, have decided to start an awareness campaign with the local farmers: leaving on foot from the village of Kadaraguma, these priestesses, known in the local dialect as bejunis, go from door to door to encourage the inhabitants to recover their unique patrimony. This strategy is, albeit slowly, bearing fruit.
St. Peter’s Square
Aug. 26, 2019
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