'From A Marginal Farmer, Fighting Severe Tuberculosis (TB), To A Role Model Pioneering The Concept Of Nano Orchards'
Devchand Katara, Ruparel Village, Rajasthan
- Devchand owns 1.24 hectare (ha) of land (1 ha of it is irrigated and the remaining 0.24 is rain-fed). He stays with his wife, two sons and a daughter.
- There was a time when Devchand cultivated maize, black gram, paddy and soybean in Kharif season. During Rabi, he sowed wheat and gram. His year-round travails fetched him a measly Rs. 30,600 – peanuts to support a family of five.
- To augment his income, Devchand also worked as a part-time labour. But the inhuman hard work took toll on his health. In 2013, he got bedridden with TB. It was a crippling blow to his family, as he was the sole earner.
- A glimmer of hope shone through the gloom when Reliance Foundation started its intervention programme in Ruparel village in October, 2013. A village association (VA), Sri Kisan Vikas Samiti, was set up, and Devchand became its first member.
- Devchand desperately needed to be cured of TB. The Reliance Foundation team took him to the district hospital at Banswara. Attending doctors advised Devchand to consume nutritious food along with medicines. But his abject poverty came in the way.
- Once again, Reliance Foundation showed Devchand the way, introducing him to the concept of Reliance Nutrition Garden (RNG). The farmer started growing vegetables on his land. From his own produce came nourishment, and he hit the path of recovery.
- Three years have gone by… Today, Devchand’s RNG is a model for the entire Banswara district. It has been visited by the District Collector and senior government officials.
- Devchand’s family was the first to pilot a nano orchard, with the VA investing Rs. 50,000 in it. And right from the start, it’s been fetching good returns. The 0.32 ha nano orchard, where Devchand grows papaya, onion, chilli, garlic, and okra (bhindi), fetches Rs. 34,000 a year. In the remaining land, he cultivates wheat and soybean which fetch Rs. 26,000. With the help of the Foundation team, he has set up a poultry farm, and that accounts for an additional Rs. 12,000.
- So, thanks to Reliance Foundation, Devchand has been cured of TB, and his annual income is now Rs. 72,000.
- “I am very happy,” says Devchand. “Earlier, I was confined to bed. But now I am farming all the year round. And for this, I am grateful to Reliance Foundation.”
- With the support of Reliance Foundation, Devchand’s hard work, grit and perseverance have ensured that he fulfil his dream of securing food and health care for his family and education for his children.