I am Vasant Nagargoje, a farmer from the Parli region of Maharashtra.
No Way Back
For years, I had been farming at Mandekhel in Parli. It’s a drought-affected area. Which meant it was extremely difficult for me to reap any harvest.
As a result, the earnings were meagre. I didn’t know how to save anything out of it for my family and our future. Because I had to think of investing in new crops, knowing well the result would be no different.
And it continued for years. I considered doubling as a security guard or laborer in the nearby town, but that would be inadequate still. My fellow farmers did that; none of them could continue for a long time and ended up sick and heartbroken.
Amid all this, a neighbor of mine, also a farmer, ended his life. It was the final nail in the coffin. As abashed as I feel to share this, for a long time, I considered doing the same.
But then, I saw his family – his wife and old parents – suffer no end. That changed my mind, but every now and then, the torturous thought would come to me in the dead of night.
It was like I had reached the pit of hopelessness, and there was no way back.
But a Door Opened
There was a time when I’d laugh at those who said, ‘have faith in God. Time will change.’
In my mind, I’d think, ‘time might change, but not for the poor.’
Then one day I met a man. He said he was here to help me.
But why would he or anybody for that matter help me? I was a poor farmer after all!
He said he ran an NGO that could multiply my earnings 10 times if I followed his advice.
I was told to grow drumstick plants in my land and adopt some new techniques. I was skeptical, although I decided to give it a try. There was nothing to lose after all.
That one decision taken in a state of depression and bafflement changed my life for good. Now I earn lakhs from one acre of crops. It’s unbelievable, even to me, but true nonetheless.
Drumstick plants are drought-resistant and can last for 7 to 8 years if taken good care of. They also grow really fast, which gives me the opportunity to earn even more. In the process, I ended up learning new farming techniques and technologies. It was that man, my angel, who taught me everything. I can never thank him enough.
These days, I am planning to build a house and buy a car for my family.
Hear it from Vasant’s mouth
Click the picture below to watch the video on Youtube.
About Mayank Gandhi and Global Parli
Mayank Gandhi has been a social activist for a long time. In 2016, appalled by the plight of the farmers and daily news of their suicide, he founded Global Parli.
It’s a nonprofit organization that aims at improving the economic foundation of rural areas. Especially, the Marathwada region of Maharashtra that’s infamous for farmer suicides.
Mr. Gandhi knew that farmers had little knowledge of innovative, new-age farming techniques. Naturally, they were skeptical about adopting them as well. It wasn’t their fault. Nonetheless, it was only them who were suffering.
The beginning of a change
Mayank Gandhi set out to meet the hapless farmers across the rural regions of Maharashtra. It broke his heart to see their condition. Some would be in a highly intoxicated state, having given up on their life. Others were too hopeless to listen to and believe his words.
To them, what Mr. Gandhi was saying was an impossible miracle.
He didn’t give up. The man assured these farmers of financial assistance and crop insurance. He took them under his wings and taught them farming techniques that they direly needed.
In a few months from then, the farmers could see the results for themselves. They had started to earn lakhs from each acre of their lands.
A change for all
Mayank Gandhi’s initiative to improve the farmers’ condition didn’t limit itself to only techniques and technology. The Global Parli team supplied millions of liters of water to over 30 villages every day to deal with water scarcity.
They are also working toward the education and healthcare of villagers across Maharashtra. The Global Parli team and Mr. Gandhi wish to create livelihood options for them.
Many farmers like Vinayak Gadade have gotten rid of their drinking habits, thanks to the man. The team is also fighting issues like dowry, malnutrition, etc.
In every sense of the word, Mr. Mayank Gandhi has brought about a rural economic revolution in India.
Not only farmers and villagers, we, as a nation, are highly grateful to him for his unprecedented kindness and empathy toward the people and their betterment.
Kudos to your efforts, sir!
May Global Parli heal more lives, weave miracles, and bring hope to those in need.
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