Shetkari Sangathana's founder and veteran leader of farmers, Sharad Joshi died in Pune due to old age
Sharad Joshi, the founder of Shetkari Sangathana, which fought for the rights of farmers, on Saturday died of old age in Pune. He was 81. Joshi was also founder of Swatantra Bharat Paksh.
In 1979, Joshi floated Shetkari Sanghatana for fighting for farmers' cause and hogged limelight with an agitation of onion growers in 1980 to demand remunerative prices for the produce. He was also member of Rajya Sabha during 2004-2010. He was the only member of Parliament (MP) at that time who voted against the Bill seeking 33% reservations for women in the Parliament and state assemblies.
The farmers' leader also worked with the Indian Postal Services and United Nations before launching his organisation, Shetkari Sangathana. His movement took up the cause of onion farmers, cotton farmers and the cause of cane farmers across the state. Joshi was the first one to link production cost to the price of agricultural produce and agitate for better price.
He was the member of Advisory Board of the World Agricultural Forum (WAF), the foremost global agricultural platform that initiates dialogue between those who can impact agriculture.
Sharad Joshi led several of agitations on farmer issues like for remunerative prices of crops, against hike in electricity tariffs, for liquidation of rural debts and against state dumping in domestic markets.
He was a columnist for dailies like The Times of India, Business India, and Lokmat. Joshi also authored books on agricultural issues.