Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

A tribute to my mother

by Nanditha Ram

Yet another day begins. The time is 3:30am. The place is Bangalore, a city in South India. The whole town is asleep except for this one diminutive old lady who is too busy to sleep. She is up and about, making herself a cup of tea and then proceeding to cook a fantastic south Indian meal for the family. She then briskly walks about putting things back in their place. She is a grandmother of three and has two of her grandchildren over at her impeccably kept home everyday. She is very meticulous and likes things just so……for her there is no delight in disorder and chaos is the one thing she has zero tolerance for. Her home is a heartwarming space, bounding with her energy and people keep hopping in and out. Her phone rings non-stop as she juggles her multi-various roles, as a mother, grandmother, wife and caretaker of the community. She is very passionate about her work and has an incredible ability to make things happens. She is often accused by her daughters of being a workaholic who doesn’t spend enough time with her family.

Her efforts in saving seeds, land races and the culture of food has resulted in a flourishing community-oriented work that is being successfully run by Green Foundation, which she started way back in the early 90s. Her sense of balance and moderation has always stood her in good stead in her fight for social justice at the grass-roots level.

Her creativity and energy know no limits and her right brain works over-time! As they say, it is easy to have ideas, but very difficult to bring it to fruition – but making a reality of an idea is grandma’s special quality. Anytime of the day or night, you will find her at work. Like a magic genie, she can be in two places at the same time, writing on her computer and doing half-a-dozen other things all at once. Her appearance is deceptive, salt and pepper hair notwithstanding only because she has the spirit and tenacity of youth.

Meet Vanaja Ramprasad……..


Written by Nanditha Ram, Vanaja's daughter and a journalist by profession.

Vanaja Ramprasad
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Local Organising Committee