Mi Aahe

Building Resilience through Farmer's Mental Wellness

Farmers are an integral part of India’s economy and also contributing to our country’s basic daily needs. Agriculture, with its allied sectors, is the largest source of livelihoods in India. 70 percent of India’s rural households still depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihood, with 82 percent of farmers being small and marginal.

India has witnessed farmer suicides since 1970. In more than 5 decades we are unable to find a holistic approach towards preventing our famers from committing suicide.
After studying various village interventions and Indian Government’s SAGY (Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana launched on 11th October, 2014) model, World Chamber For Social Business has initiated a fresh approach which has never been implemented towards preserving our farmers and building resilience by taking care of their behavorial needs. It is ironical, that the word “health” in a farmer’s dictionary exists only for his yields or livestock but not for him.

World's first chamber constituted for social businesses around the world

World Chamber for Social Business is the world’s first chamber constituted for social businesses around the world, has started to change the narrative in a “Building Resilience” from the perspective of our farmers. WCSB believes in #LeaveNoFarmerBehind should be a focus of the multi-lateral agri stakeholders for the next 5 years for make our farmers stronger mentally to tackle the other problems which co-exist in agriculture.

WCSB’s initiatve Jan Vikalp is an arm which works to solve issues the state is facing through social business by involving international stakeholders whose vision is to have a sustainable planet. Jan Vikalp ensures that the most pressing problems faced by our people are solved by social businesses which would also help in achieving the 17 Global Goals by the UN. Jan Vikalp is a nonprofit initiative which brings our citizens as
stakeholders to solve a problem.

Jan Vikalp is launching a Farmer Wellness Task Force for building Farmer Resilience, called Mi Aahe which means “I am here for you”. The essence of the initiative will be giving back the dignity of our farmer by expressing communication, various activities and interventions that we citizens stand by you in spirit while you work hard for us.

“Mi Aahe is an initiative WCSB will involve citizen participation to make the farmer feel he is part of us apart from being counselled and resolve financial crises faced by farmers who are on the verge of a socio economic and emotional breakdown.

The Farmer Wellness Task Force (Mi Aahe) brings together the knowledge of agriculture and evidence-based approaches in behavioral health to help better equip farmers, their families, and the agricultural community with tools and resources to help in time of need. This will help farmers learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and suicide, effectively communicate with people under stress, reduce stigma related to mental health concerns, and connect farmers to make them feel inclusive.

Farmer Mental Wellness Task Force which will have the following phase wise deliverables:

Identifying the most vulnerable farmers who needs immediate behavioral support to prevent him to commit suicide.
Understanding the behavioral stress of the farmer.
Counselling of the farmer through online & offline sessions.
Community level discussions regarding causes of farmer Stress.
Citizens adoption of farmer groups for becoming Farmer Gaurdians. (Krishi Bhagini / Krishi Bandhu)
Farm Careline.
Integrating knowledge transfer through climate change experts and market scientists to assist in increasing agricultural profitability and minimizing the risk of loss in input cost.
Introduce financial discipline and teach money management.
Transforming the small scale farmer into agripreneurs through right market linkages.

Roll out of the Farmer Mental Wellness Task Force (Mi Aahe)

Mi Aahe will roll out a proof of concept (POC) in 1 district of Maharashtra.

Phase 1

A think tank will be set up comprising of the following:
Mental Health Practitioners / Stakeholders
An educational institution as the research arm
Market scientists
Climate change experts
Policy advisors
Soil Experts

Phase 2

Setting up a team of 20 Field Farmer Guardians who will map the farmer of 1 district in Maharashtra, which is the most affected due to farmer suicide.
Making clusters or farmer groups for group analysis. Pooled analysis to understand the behavioral stress pattern will help us to reach out to more farmers in less time.
The most vulnerable farmers will be given immediate mental care support.
The other farmers will be taken through early mental stress warning tests to evaluate their mental health.

Phase 3

Launch of the citizen adoption program of Farmer Guardians.
The citizens will be encouraged to adopt farmer clusters as guardians to provide hand-holding support to our farmers morally, the real essence of Mi Aahe.
The citizens will be asked to call the farmers individually or in groups at least once a week.

Phase 4

Launch of the Farmer Careline number.
After our farmers will gain the trust & visibility of Mi Aahe through our Field Farmer Guardians, we will launch the Farmer Careline Number, which can receive distress calls from our farmers and provide immediate support.

Phase 5

Training on climate change/soil health will roll out.

Phase 6

Training on farm economics.
Farm planning according to market scientists & agro-economists

Phase 7

Jan Vikalp Conference to transform farmers into agripreneurs.