A beggar became a farmer
It was a drought stricken area. There were no rains, no agriculture, no crops and no livelihood. During such difficult days, Yadagiri, whowas unable to take care of his family, migrated to a town in search of livelihood. But, there also he could not get any job, due to his physical disability. No one was interested tooffer him any work.Thus, disability became a curse for him in getting employment. As there was no other go, so as to satiate his hunger, he started begging. But, he was mentally disturbed at his plight. Finally he decided to go back to the village and work on his own.
With a lot of self confidence he tepped into his village Khata (Nanganuru Mandal, Medak District) and firmly decided to go for farming. With his untiring hard efforts, Katkuru Yadagiri, who is a dalit and a disabled person, started tilling his barren land. Unmindful of his physical disability and poverty, he worked hard, and finally achieved success.
This was the backdrop …
He knows that government had allotted 3 acres of land to his mother. However, he does not know its whereabouts. By going round the government offices, at last he could get its particulars. However, after seeing the land, his wife took aback. Both of them were worried how to remove the boulders, bushes and level the land. Neighbours discouraged them by saying that it would be an impossible task for them. Pained at their heckling, at one moment Yadagiri wanted to sell off the land and open a grocery shop. But nobody came forward to buy that land, because it was not suitable for agriculture, and did not have bore for irrigation.
This was how he developed …
At that time, Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme was initiated in that village. Under that scheme, through the Society for the Disabled, he obtained a job card as a regular labourer and worked for hundred days. Later, under the same scheme, by taking the help of a few more labourers, he worked hard, and finally levelled it. Under ‘Indira Jalaprbha’ – CLDP scheme he got 70 mango plants, and he planted them in an acre. Along with his wife and children he took care of plants and watered them by bringing with pots. This all happened in 2004. Over a period his life bettered with mango farming.
These are the results :
- By recognising the hard work of Yadagiri, the state government sanctionedhim a bore well. He purchased a motor with his savings, and by fixing it to the bore he has overcome the irrigation problem.
- In the remaining field, he cultivated paddy. By growing two crops, he is getting a maximum yield of 60 bags. By growing beans, okra (ladies finger), tomato, and green leafy vegetables as inter crops, he gets extra income.
- Speaking to this journalist, who met him in his field, Yadagiri rejoicingly said,”Looking at the barren land, I really got scared. With repeated requests and continuous follow up, the officials responded positively and extended their support. Those who heckled at my disability are now respecting me. To appreciate the development, a number of officials from other states too, visit my garden.”
With the help received under the Employment Guarantee Scheme, Yadagiri could become a farmer. Now, by cultivating paddy, corn, cattle feed, he leads a happy life with the family. His wife is also a physically challenged person. Yadagiri, who was once a beggar, now commutes to and from his farm, riding on a moped. His willpower dwarfed his poverty and disability.