After batting for jallikattu, a group of IT professionals protested at the ELCOT SEZ against the hydrocarbon exploration project at Neduvasal.
An increasing attraction towards agriculture has been seen among the IT cliques in the recent past. Sathiesh Mohanakrishnan, Joint Secretary of Forum for IT Employees (FITE), said there have been efforts to help the farming community, beyond registering their dissent. “A group of IT employees are trying to generate funds for farmers, who are in a dire state.
In addition, more and more IT employees are in a phase where they are understanding the issues faced by the farmers. They want to go beyond just offering moral support. And jallikattu acted as a catalyst. That’s how the agitation against what’s happening in Neduvasal gained ground. We want to create a strong voice for the IT fraternity,” he said.
36-year-old Madhankumar Rajeswaran, who is working as an engineering manager at a city-based organisation, has started realising his agricultural dreams at a small scale. “I come from agricultural background and returning to it is my dream. Though I am here in Chennai, I have started on a small scale, with livestock rearing back home in Madurai. My father cultivates fodder to feed the livestock. A friend of mine, who works here, also has his mother engaged in full-time agriculture,” said the techie.
Naresh R, a 27-yearold IT employee, and his friend Levin Madhusudhan teamed up with other friends to create the forum ‘Ilaya Tamilagam’, which will be launched on March 4. “Agriculture is necessary for us to survive. We want to implement sustainable natural farming and to improve the lives of farmers. We are dabbling with the idea of buying a farmland and engaging farmers, while trying to create a business model around sustainable agriculture. Apart from creating livelihoods, we want to establish direct markets for natural products. We have started speaking to our canteen owners in the SEZ to think about natural products, instead of unhealthy foods,” he concluded.