Leaving lucrative jobs they became farmers

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Dec 2018 10:28:39


By Vikas Vaidya,

THEY both were well placed in their respective jobs fetching a hefty salary.But both wanted to do something different, something challenging. One fine morning they announced their decision that they would take to farming. They both are young -- just 27 years old, unmarried.They have plunged into farming with an aim to become ideal farmers. Raj Madankar and Gopal Sharma jointly started practicing agriculture just three months ago. Before that they were salaried persons.

Raj, who did BA (Honours) in Economics, had a job in an American bank with annual package of Rs 12 lakh. Gopal earned degree in Industrial Engineering from Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management (RCOEM), and General Motors gave hima job with salary package of Rs 24 lakh. “We were doing our work sincerely, leaving no stone unturned.But somehow we felt that we should go for farming.

My grandfatherhada farm andI had helped him in the process of cultivating the crops when I was a kid.Thatwas ringing inmymind and I felt that the soil was calling me,” shared Raj Madankar. There is one more thing that helped Raj in making his dream come true. Asapart of student exchange programme, he spent one year in Mauritius where he heard name of Padma Shri Subhash Palekar, an Indian agriculturist who practiced natural farming and wrote many books on it.

After returning to India, Raj attended a15-days workshop by Subhash Palekar on natural farming. Gopal, too, had one incident that made him to go forfarming. While pursuing engineering, he came across an injured cow by roadside. He brought her home, and treated her. Gopal’s love for cow and Raj’s thought of farming broughtthem together. They approached their common friend who offered them some 14 acres of land at Kusumbi village on Umrer roadfor 10 years.

Both are aware of the gloomy picture of farmers. In fact, Raj tells the statistics that states agriculture contribution to nation has come down from 82 per cent to 13 per cent. “What ever picture is being presented is true. But it can be improved. Some technical aspects have been ignored over the period of years. For example, for cultivating any cropsoilmust have carbon and nitrogen in the proportionof 1:10.Nitrogenis at 10 but organic carbon remained only0.0002percent.Ithappened because we ourselves destroyed it. For example, when we take cotton crop, we pluck the cotton and burn the remaining material.

With this burning,carbongets vanished. Actually remains should beput back into the soil,” pointed out Raj Madankar. Theywillbe experimentingon 1.5 acre where they have cultivated wheat crop through natural farming. If they succeed in drawing 20 sacks of wheat, it would inspire others in the villagetoemulatethem.Theywould gradually involve more land for farming.Theyhaveclarityintheir minds while taking up this new assignment.

They did lot of study of agriculture. Both said that abodoning non-milching cows was an act of foolishness. “Give me one cow of local breed that is non-milching, and utilising her go mutraanddung I would do successful farming in 30 acre,” said confident Raj. This shows how much preparations Gopal and Raj have done andhow muchserious theywere before entering into the field. Both hail from middle class families.

Raj’s father, Sudhakar runs a small business of battery inverter while Gopal’s father Pratul is into tours business. Their mothers are homemakers. Name of Raj’s mother is Surekha while Prema is Gopal’s mother. Previously, both parents were not verymuch happy with their sons’ decisions. But results produced by them made a difference. Raj and Gopal want that young people like them should get into agriculture. According to the monly youths can save soil of the nation from getting ruined and they are trying to put their examples before the society by actually working on the field.