Arjun Damor Chulipada, Ukala, Banswara, Rajasthan | Land: 4 bigha | Grows: Maize, Pulses, Sesame, Wheat, Chickpea, Pigeon pea | Livestock & others: 2 Oxen, 1 goat, 3hens
The erratic rain pattern had caused incessant damage to Arjun Damor’s crops. The hilly terrains did not allow the water to stand and the Rabi crops could not be irrigated. He was compelled to occasionally migrate to brick kilns to support his family. But the labour cost was low. In absence of proper nutritious food, the family suffered from malnutrition. Arjun had to take loans for the treatment of his daughter and wife in a private hospital. He couldn’t focus on agriculture because of his ailments at home. Frustrated, Arjun decided to sell off his land to pay off the loans and get proper treatment for his family. Just at this critical point, he met a facilitator from Vaagdhara, who informed him about the Government schemes for the free treatment of BPL families. He also told him about the village development committee and child rights committee formed by the organisation and farm-related Government schemes which can help him overcome his troubles. With this knowledge, Arjun secured treatment for his family in a government hospital. He joined the Gram Sabha and submitted a proposal for bundling, check dam, anicut, and a deep well for his farm, which was approved. Bundling stopped the erosion of land, and check dam and anicut stopped the rainwater from washing away and restored the underground water, raising the water table. As a result, the water level increased in the deep well he had dug. A good understanding of crop cycle and availability of water helped him diversify his Kharif and Rabi crops. He started growing fruit trees and vegetables. With a rise in his income, he could buy 2 cows and 2 buffaloes and sell the milk. He also had some time to work locally and stopped migrating altogether. His wife and daughter recovered as they received good nutrition from the farm, and expenses towards medicine went down. As the inputs to the farm came from the livestock, and the seeds were saved and used, farm expenses also went down. Extra income was generated from selling of farm products and milk. Lady luck turned around. Arjun has now educated 100 farmers from 5 villages in crop cycle, bundling and government schemes, which he himself had benefited from. He is an inspiration for all.