With spotlight on Araku Coffee, UN leaders hail India's 'Naari Shakti', sustainable practices to mark Women's Day

Araku Coffee's production is a driving force in empowering women within these tribal communities

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  9 March 2024 6:50 AM GMT
With spotlight on Araku Coffee, UN leaders hail Indias Naari Shakti, sustainable practices to mark Womens Day

United Nations: Lauding the transformative power of India's "Naari Shakti", top UN leaders said Indian women are the narrators of their country's development story, as they hailed women-led development across the nation in areas ranging from sustainable farming to technology.

A special event was hosted by the Permanent Mission of India to the UN to mark International Women's Day on Friday with a spotlight on the Journey of Araku Coffee cultivated by the tribal communities in Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh.

"From finance and digital technology to health, education, space, and aviation, Indian women are the narrators of their country's development story .India's dedication to championing women-led development serves as an inspiring example for nations around the world," President of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly Dennis Francis said at the event.

"Let us take inspiration from India's commitment to advancing gender equality, empowering women, and ensuring that no one is left behind in the pursuit of a more just and equitable world," he said.

The event 'The Role of Women in Sustainable Farming Practices: The Extraordinary Story of Araku Coffee' shone the spotlight on the impactful role of women in sustainable farming practices through the story of the "seed-to-cup" journey of Araku Coffee.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said the link between women and sustainable farming practices in India is remarkable.

"I would like to commend the Indian government for its leadership and its commitment to advancing the food systems conservation agenda at the country level," Mohammed said.

Francis recalled that during his visit to India in January this year, he "witnessed firsthand the transformative power of Naari Shakti' or women-power."

"I was energised and motivated by the many initiatives aimed at empowering women economically ensuring women entrepreneurs' access to finance and creating an enabling environment for them to self-actualise, in business, in community service and their personal lives," he said.

Francis said the event not only honours the tribal women of Araku Valley but also recognises their trailblazing role in spurring an agricultural, economic, and social revolution through coffee cultivation.

"The stories of women, as agents of change such as that of the women of Araku Valley must be told repeatedly, including within the walls of this very institution. I commend India for sharing one of its inspiring success stories," Francis said.

Francis, who had also met President Draupadi Murmu, the country's first tribal Head of State, during his visit to India, said that the long list of India's historical contributions to the empowerment of women would be incomplete without the mention of pioneering reformer and educator Hansa Mehta.

Mehta served as the Indian delegate to the UN Commission on Human Rights from 1947 to 1948 and is widely known for ensuring a more gender-sensitive language in the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights by changing the phrase "All men are born free and equal" to "All human beings are born free and equal."

"Since her time, India has been a steadfast advocate of gender-inclusive language in international agreements consistently paving the way for equality and progress," Francis said.

The head of the 193-member UN body said that the story of the women of Araku Valley is not just about coffee but about empowerment, dignity, and autonomy of local communities.

"It embodies a model of true social development fostering transformation, progress, and prosperity."

The Indian mission said that Araku Coffee, with its rich flavour and sustainable cultivation methods, serves as a symbol of empowerment and environmental stewardship.

"Araku Coffee's production is a driving force in empowering women within these tribal communities. Women play a crucial role in the entire coffee production process, from cultivation to harvesting, ensuring the organic integrity and quality of the coffee," India's Permanent Mission said.

The event, attended by UN diplomats and senior officials, included an Araku coffee-tasting experience. Coffeeologist Sherri Johns shared the journey of Araku coffee and highlighted the role played by women in its sustainable farming practices.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said on International Women's Day "We carry forward the legacy of countless women who have paved paths in stone so future generations like ours can walk on roads paved in aspirations and dreams."

As the day celebrates the journey of empowerment, resilience and transformation led by women across the globe, Kamboj said that in India, "this journey is not just a narrative. It's a palpable living experience that flows now through the veins of our nation, energising its spirit and guiding its steps towards sustainable growth."

Kamboj said the story of Araku coffee is an "emblem of this remarkable journey that is ongoing in India."

She added that Araku Valley's "incredible women" cultivate the finest organic coffee and their "hands not only nurture the soil but also cradle the future of sustainable agriculture and community development."

"In the nurturing hands of these women, coffee beans are not just agricultural products but seeds of change Let the story of Araku Coffee inspire us to recognize and celebrate the role of women in sustainable development everywhere. Every effort counts, every voice matters and together, we can brew a better world," she said.

Next Story