Lotus stem harvesters in Kashmir appeal to the government to clean the lakes

For years we have been harvesting lotus stems (Nadru) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Dal Lake. We extract the lotus stems from the lake to earn our livelihood. Before us, our forefathers were involved in the lotus stem harvesting. The only difference then and now is that the lake used to be clean before. Today, the lakes have become very dirty. The reasons are illegal construction and the home garbage gets thrown in the lakes. This impacts the production of the lotus stems. Now we do not get as many lotus stems as before. Our livelihood is getting impacted. The stems of the lotus plants are called Nadru. Nadru is a conventional part of Kashmiri cuisine. It is a source of livelihood for many farmers. The harvesters sow the seeds just once and reap the harvest of lotus stems for years. The cultivation and harvesting trick is passed on to generations from grandfathers to fathers and from fathers to sons. The harvesting season is from September till March. Farmers spend the whole day on boats from the crack of dawn on chilly mornings till evening hunting for lotus stems. They carry six-foot long poles to extract the lotus stems from the lake. The lotus stem harvesters through this video sent a message of appeal to the government to stop illegal construction and to devise ways to clean the lakes so that the lotus stems are not damaged. They want to secure the livelihood of their children who will also be involved in the harvesting of lotus stems or Nadru.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.