NCP chief Sharad Pawar has said that people donning “saffron robes” are held in high esteem in the country while science has been ignored.
Emphasising a greater role of science in agriculture, he said the children of farmers who have committed suicide need to be encouraged to study and make their lives better. He stressed the need to inculcate the knowledge of science in young minds. “Those wearing saffron clothes are held in high esteem in this country while science is being ignored,” Pawar said without naming anybody.
He was speaking after inaugurating a science exhibition at the Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil College, run by the Rayat Shikshan Sanstha, at Vashi in Navi Mumbai on Saturday. Pawar said leaders like Indira Gandhi, T Subramaniam and Jagjivan Ram had laid the foundation of green revolution in the country by taking the support of science. Also, the scientific outlook of social activist Jyotiba Phule was seen in his efforts to promote increased agricultural and milk production, he said.
The former Union agriculture minister said he also faced lot of criticism for promoting the genetically-modified (GM) food technology but it helped in higher crop production with less use of water. “Due to this technology, sugarcane can be produced with less use of water,” he said.
Noting that there was a rise in farmer suicides, he said children of such cultivators needed to be brought to the mainstream of education and encouraged to innovate and experiment to prove their worth. This will help in bringing laurels to the country, he opined.
Pawar said the Rayat Shikshan Sanstha would adopt around 60 children of farmers who have committed suicide in the state’s Marathwada region and take the responsibility of their education, lodging and boarding expenses.