Wilted Flowers, Wilted Lives

Human rights issue

There are 135 thousand suicides in India every year. A quarter of a million farmers have committed suicide in the last 16 years. This is the largest wave of suicides in human history.  There are various reasons for this crisis- ranging from Government Economic Policies, to Climate Change, Drought and misdirection of subsidies and funds. In addition, Foreign and private banks have made banking in India competitive. This has led to fewer loans for agriculture and hence, farmers are often overcome by worry about debt and crop failure.

About our experience

Wilted Flowers, Wilted Lives is a virtual reality experience that places the interactor in the environment of an Indian rural farm, to witness the dire living conditions and desperation of the farmers and their families. The narrative is structured around the struggle and desolation that farmers in India labor go through. The storyline integrates culturally relevant markers, including Warli paintings, traditional Hindi music, and other cultural elements native to a Maharashtrian Indian Village.  We make use of two main interactions, one being drawing water from an almost dry well, and the other is using a traditional Indian hand pump.

Students: Anuraj Bhatnagar, Manasee Narvilkar, Jhillika Kumar