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Post-production   /  Upasna Ved


Every 30 minutes an Indian farmer commits suicide.  These are the stories of survival of the widows they leave behind.


Impact areas








  • DIRECTOR Upasna Ved

  • PRODUCER Upasna Ved



Vidharbha, India, once renowned for its “white gold" cotton production has now become the suicide belt of India. Burdened with debts they cannot repay, Indian farmers are taking their own lives in unprecedented numbers. Planned obsolesce of farmers, the hijacking of agriculture, and calculated economic monopoly all contributing factors to the infamous phenomenon. With 65000 "cotton widows" in Vidharbha to this day, the state is often in perpetual mourning...

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0.17% funded
  • $30,000.00

  • $51.00

  • May 2021

  • 2

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jeremy monaro $1.00
pamela burrell $50.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

More than 800,000 farmers have committed suicide in India. Vidarbha which was once the cott belt of India is now known as Suicide belt of India with highest rate of suicide across nation. This phenomenon has only started after the introduction of GMOs and illegal entry of handful of corporations that have now gained monopoly in cotton production through illegally acquiring all cotton seed companies, removing native seeds from circulation, pushing GMO and criminalizing agriculture. Headed by Monsanto, the most evil organization in the world, today the billionaires like Adani who has a history of corruption and environmental destruction in Australia have now joined hands to hijack agriculture and force their way into edible crops. If GMOs and corporate interference in non-edible have caused so much destruction, do we really need to anticipate what it will do if this model of business and agriculture is applied to edible crops?


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

We cannot stand up against corporations, demand change and create accountability if we are forever divided with our geographical borders of nations, race, and developed and developing world. There has to be a collective awareness; what happens to one is happening to all of us. We have to stand together for one world, one environment, and one race to even have a chance to hold these organisations accountable and make them extinct.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Create solidarity with a sense of urgency
Be the change you wish to see in the world and that change now has a sense of urgency. Cotton Widows aim to create that introspection that we cannot afford to wait any longer. Create an awareness of realization that's all connected, corporate exploitation of natural resources, destruction of the environment, and gross violations of human rights and sooner or later we all will be affected. We are not separate from our communities, governments, or our systems. We are the system and it will only change when we have empathy towards all the environment, all communities, and earth as a whole - as ONE!


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Cotton Widows have a holistic approach to be inclusive of every perspective that impacted, be it farmers and their families, wildlife, and the environment. It reflects on the plight of women who bear the impact of policies that aggravates climate change. Communities that are on the brink of losing their livelihood and their food safety and are pushed further into dispossession and starvation while those who are responsible for creating the situation are becoming richer and protected.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?


Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Create a sense of urgency to be actively involved.
Stand in solidarity with indigenous communities whether in Australia ( STOP ADANI ) or whether in India ( current farmers protest). It's all connected and so we all also have to!
Be a social media warrior - Follow, support, donate time, skillset, or anything that we can to organizations that are actively standing up and demanding change. Our words matter!
Support Women - So many council workers were protesting to remove a carcinogenic weedicide but the protest died as no one supported these women when it is well known that this weedicide causes breast cancers and yet its openly sold at one of our biggest hardware stores.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Ban Monsanto forever! Full Stop.
Change the paradigm of false development & growth ( GDP, globalization, and the industrial food system) which is not in harmony with the earth and her people and most ingenious communities. The current economic development model is defunct – we need to ditch it.
Hold the Indian government accountable to collect and collate data on farmers' suicide. The current government has stopped collecting data on suicide since 2015.
Promote Agroecology, experts all across are globe are in agreement that to combat climate change and to live in harmony with aminals, birds & bees, wildlife, and the environment, and all human communities, agroecology is the way.