January 28, 2008

Inspiration for the day

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Rajani, Vadakkathu Valappil, Vattamkulam, Edappal, Malappuram

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I feel tired only if I am unable to stand under the sun for at least sometime in the morning,’ says Rajani, Vadakkathu Valappil, Vattamkulam, Edappal, Malappuram, who recently won the Sramasakthi award for the best farm hand.  And if one were to visit her house, one wouldn’t be able to see any courtyard in front of the house.  For all available space upto the wall have been covered with vegetable cultivation.

10 years ago, both Rajani and her husband Krishnan were farm hands owning just 12 cents of land with an arecanut-based hut in the middle of it.  However, in the evenings they cultivated in the land taken on lease and started saving the meager earnings from it.  When even regular farmers were reporting losses in the cultivation of paddy, many ridiculed their ‘part time farming’ on leased land.  However, with the help of farmers’ collective and the local agricultural officer, they nurtured their plot with organic manure made at home.

The first harvest taught them a lesson: farming need not be a loss-making profession.  And it wasn’t the way to instant riches either.  

Updation of knowledge by attending training programmes, ability to work hard, direct marketing of produce etc saw her efforts make steady profit.  Today, Rajani and her husband have constructed their own concrete house, have LPG connection at home and have their children studying in good schools. 

Interestingly, they have so far not taken any loan for their farming needs.  Supplementing farming with processed coconut water, seeds etc, this 10th standard-failed lady keeps her revenue streams diversified.

‘Seeing well-kept paddy fields while traveling is a heart-warming experience.  But seeing barren plots saddens me,’ says this mender of soils.


Courtesy: Ratheesh Ravi (text), K.Abubaker (photo), Gruhalakshmi, November 2007
Contributed by: Administrator

"If farmers do not work their fields, the people in the town will die of hunger."