Preventing suicides in Vidarbha, one sapling at a time
Vimal Khode is packing lunch and Shrikrishna Khode is preparing his jhola – a jhola that contains a bottle with drinking water, two ghamchas, and a small knife, which he will use to remove the stubborn weeds. They walk for 30 minutes to reach their one acre farm which was lying barren until 6 months back. The erstwhile barren land is now planted with 370 pomegranate saplings, installed with drip irrigation equipment, and intercropped with pulses.
Shrikrishna and Vimal belong to the village of Vijaygopal, in Wardha district, 100 kms away from Nagpur, Maharashtra. It is situated in the heart of the Vidarbha region, a region that is marred by an agrarian crisis. Dependency on cash crops, volatile markets, and droughts are the main contributing factors of the distress in Vidarbha. Farmers were neck-deep in debt and thousands committed suicide, in a desperate measure to avoid paying off these debts.
Turning around lives
Shrikrishna Khode and his wife Vimal Khode are trailblazers of the project. They were the first ones to implement every activity in Vijaygopal – they cleared the land, dug 370 pits of size one feet by one feet, which took a total of 150 man hours, filled the pits with 900 kgs of farm inputs in the specified dosages, planted 370 pomegranate saplings, and intercropped the farm with pulses. Today, they are confident of growing the best fruits in Wardha district.
With constant support, expertise and advice from Naandi Foundation, farmers here are able to fight the distressed conditions and not just survive, but thrive and do well for themselves. Naandi Foundation ensures that farmers adopt non-chemical farming, best practices of organic cultivation and have access to advisory.
How you can help
A donation of Rs 500 will work towards creating a viable unit of one acre of horticulture, including the use of earth movers for land preparation, installing drip irrigation equipment along with high quality saplings, and organic inputs for growth of plants (one viable unit = 365 saplings). Two pomegranate saplings will be planted.
A donation of Rs 5,000 will work towards creating a viable unit of one acre of horticulture, including the use of earth movers for land preparation, installing drip irrigation equipment along with high quality saplings, and organic inputs for growth of plants (one viable unit = 365 saplings). 20 pomegranate saplings will be planted.