My Farmer Father

"My father is a farmer but he doesn't want me to become one. Is farming a bad occupation?" 

- I was asked this question by a five year old school boy in village 'Baag', Karsog district of Himachal Pradesh. I decided that day that I am going to work to change this. Farming after all, cannot be bad. It is in fact, the very basis of civilization and the true way of living with nature.

Then what is it, that our farmers are running away from? The answer, i discovered, lies in the way our modern markets are functioning. The farmers are forced to give up their native cultivations and take to chemical intensive farming, which makes them susceptible to market risks and gradually lose yields over time. The skewed policies have made them abandon the sustainable methods of traditional agri systems. This has increased the cost of cultivation and has put their own income/ food security at risk.

It has been six years now, 

since I first started working in this district. The movement to strengthen the traditional agri roots has gained pace and the farmers have formed a self-help group (SHG) to work together. The SHG is snowballing its influence into other villages and around 150 farmer families have come together.

The SHG needs these funds for two things: 
1 - To build and repair the 'gharat' i.e. the water mill, so as to process the grains in the village itself. The cost of this is approx Rs 1.25 lacs. This will go a long way to bring these farmers up the value chain, make the produce high in nutrition and get their incomes to a respectable level.

2-  To take up a training program for more than a 100 farmers from the area, focused on sustainable hill rice cultivation methods. An amount of 25000 would cover transport, boarding and lodging of the resource persons and the participants. The impact of this training can reach up to 1000 cultivators through farmer to farmer exchanges.

If they are able to do these, then the children of these villages will not have to leave their homes, and can take up their family farms with pride and dignity.

They are trying to help themselves. Can you lend a hand?

(Village Baag - site location)
Ask for an update
12th March 2018

We are continually posting photos of the progress in building the Gharaat at this link -

About 60% of the structural works in traditional Himachali dry stone masonry is done. Till now the total sustainability is 100% since stone is used from the nearby riverbed or waste stone around the village which is available in plenty and recycled.

Manual labour is used for dry masonry without any ex-situ material such as cement or steel. Thus making this structure 100% sustainable. Even the door, frame and window grills are recycled from member farmers household spares.

Please do check it out!

Thank you for the support. 

7th March 2018
Hello All,

Please see the documentary process signed on by farmers of Muskaan Jaivik SHG members and the farmer owners of the worn down Gharaat which we are in the process of reviving.

In addition please see details of our expenditure for doing the workshop and balances as -

Accordingly balance funds are to be used by the group farmers for the rebuilding of work out water mill.

Again - updates of the construction shall be posted on this link -

Should anyone of the donors or your friends wish to visit our location we will be happy to host you. Details of upcoming workshops etc are on the website -

Thank you all donors for assisting us in this endeavor.

6th March 2018
Dear Supporters,

Thanks to all the donors, we have been able finally to start work on reviving our Group Gharaat. More details, images etc. are being collected and will be posted for updated soon.

Understandably, this has been delayed due to various reasons at the local level, but rest assured we are on the job at hand and will persevere to the best of our ability and resources!

A few images of the ongoing work are here -

Thank you for the support. 
Content Disclaimer: The facts and opinions, expressed in this fundraiser page are those of the campaign organiser or users, and not Milaap.
raised of Rs.150,000 goal

28 Supporters

Beneficiary: Muskaan Jaivik SHG info_outline

Supporters (28)

about 2 years ago
Aanchal donated Rs.1,200
about 2 years ago
Aditi donated Rs.1,000
about 2 years ago
Rajesh donated Rs.73,100
about 2 years ago
Mansi donated US $100
about 2 years ago
Aditi donated Rs.2,500
about 2 years ago