María Suárez Toro*,Escribana

On March 2, Tona Ina, the marine light of the Caribbean from Costa Rica, will travel in my heart to India. She – the light of the waters in the South Caribbean – will be my guide to join the invitation by ecofeminist Vandana Shiva to participate in an event that will elaborate a manifesto: “A Planetary Family – United in Diversity, Love and Care”, after a two day dialogue by 25 women centering on the regeneration of nature, culture and society.

The main themes of the manifesto will include topics such as the following: who makes up the Planetary Family?; biodiversity; nurture and seeds in the web of life; food, environment and health; biodiversity and climate; care economy sharing resources and commons; knowledge for life, the science of life, an ecofeminist epistemology; ecological laws; make peace with the planet, among others.

We will meet at Vandana’s collectively created Navdanya’s Biodiversity Farm in Navdanya**, Dehradun, at the foot of the Himalayas in a valley bathed by the Ganges River on one side and the Yamuna River as a tributary of the Ganges on the other side, 236 km north of New Delhi, the capital of India.

Tona Ina is going to be happy. I don’t know if I have told you that its sea light has escaped from the South Caribbean and is wandering through all the waters of the Planet: fresh and salty. She swims all waters, telling stories to children, youth and adults, about her adventures through the rest of the waters of the Planet that she calls “OCEANA” instead of Earth, because it is more water than anything else and so that we do not forget that we come from water.

She will be happy when she escapes from the Farm and go to the Ganges River, which in the ancient Indian Sanskrit language means “quickly moving”.

Tona Ina loves that, because its light is equally fast and that river is the most important of all the seven sacred rivers of Hinduism.  And what’s more, it is so sacred that it has the most important goddess of the waters and bears her very name. The river is deified as Maa Ganga (mother Ganges) or Ganga Deví (goddess Gaṅgā).

She also liked to know that in the town of the meeting there is a temple where one of Ganga’s daughters lies. Without a doubt, Tona Ina will love going to see her with me, because I am made of water, so she is the light of my waters too.

The women from Diverse Women for Diversity and the International Commission on the Future of Food and Farming who have summoned us to the meeting, say it well: “we are daughter creatures of the planetary family, we are not apart!” Come on, Tona Ina, we are one and the same and we go there alongside other four of your daughters of the Movement for a Maternal Gift Economy. What is it, you ask me? Like the economy of the common goods of the Planet, that provides life’s sustenance as a gift of nature and like women when they give birth and raise us.  When we recognize, honor and struggle for the improvement of the status of women, recognizing and turning into a paradigm  their gift giving where every newborn person first receives from their mother and gives, without a market in between: milk, affection, care, language and much more throughout their lives. Thanks to the founder of this initiative, Tona Ina and I are going to India with others.

*María Suárez Toro is a journalist for Escribana and Radio Internacional Feminista, she is a diver for Embajadoras del Mar in the South Caribbean, she is a writer of stories and chronicles of Tona Ina and belongs to the Movement for a Gift Economy, which recognizes that not everything in life can be bought, as Calle 13 says in its emblematic song about the commons, and how we women who recognize the value of what is priceless say, neither can be bought nor sold.

** Navdanya means “nine seeds”, which symbolizes the protection of biological and cultural diversity and also the “new gift” for seeds as a common good, based on the right to save and share seeds. In the current context of biological and ecological destruction, seed savers are the true seed givers. This gift or “dana” is the ultimate gift: a gift of life, inheritance and continuity that that Farm provides you through more than 3 decades of service to the Earth and to humanity. “We live and practice the philosophy of Democracy of the Earth as one Planetary Family, with no separations between nature and humans and no hierarchies between species, culture, gender, race and faith Navdanya is an Earth-centered, women-centered, farmer-led movement for the protection of biological and cultural diversity.