Saturday, January 10, 2009

What a difference!

Mumbai Mirror popped up a pleasant surprise today. The Sci-Tech section had an interesting article titled “Japan scientists unveil robot suit for farmers.” It is seriously cool. The Japanese are obsessed with robot sand there are no limits to the sort of things these guys do. The robot suited is aimed at old farmers who have difficulty performing operations that require crouching or raising their hands. At 25kgs, methinks its pretty heavy but hey if someone can afford to use it why not? The device is expensive but much needed in countries that don’t have sufficient farm labourers. I however lament the lack of concern and serious efforts to better the conditions of agricultural labourers here in India. The Japanese have created robots to ease human drudgery and here we are still having humans slogging it out like oxen. Women are the worst affected in such cases. Many agricultural operations like manual weeding, sowing, harvesting require the labourer to be in the crouching position. The labourers are often women and married ones at that. These women suffer multiple miscarriages because of their work without ever finding out about it. The crouching position is dangerous during the first trimester of the pregnancy as it does not allow the foetus to attach itself to the mother’s uterus correctly resulting in the loss of the pregnancy. This work also harms the pelvic girdle of women severely. Some social activists have tried to address these issues and also attempted to improve the working conditions of female farm labourers in some areas but in vain. However there won’t be a solution in place without government intervention and nationwide poverty alleviation efforts.

1 comment:

Volksgrenadier said...

type gundam on google nad you'll see the japaneese obsession with robots in its full pedigree.
As for Indian farmers, how can you feel pity for the idiot who chosoes to remain an idiot despite knowing the fact that he is an idiot?

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An infectiously enthusiastic incorrigible optimist, insanely in love with and morbidly curious about life, death and everything in between.