'My Son Is Tilling Our Own Land, What More Can A Mother Ask For?”
Vimaltai Meshram, Ganeshwadi, Yavatmal, Maharashtra
- Vimaltai Sitaram Meshram, 55, a farmer of Ganesh wadi village of Yavatmal district, Maharashtra, is from the Kolam tribal community. Widowed four years back, Vimaltai had five hectares of barren land along the village nala (water canal).
- Every year during monsoon, this canal would overflow and flood her farm rendering it impossible for use. This forced her to work as labourer with a yearly income of Rs 12,000. Vimaltai joined the Village Farmers Association, VFA (set up in 2011 with help from RF-BIJ).
- Digging farm ponds was one of the key action plans under BIJ. Vimaltai proposed to turn the dry well in her farm into a farm pond. VFA members agreed. Not only was a farm pond of width 8m and depth of 5m dug (picture inset), but with RF-BIJ intervention, major activities such as deepening and treatment of nala, contour and border bund, land cleaning, de-siltation, seeds and inter-culture operations were carried out in Vimaltai’s farmland, costing Rs 1,14,710.
- The farm pond with its present capacity of 242 cubic metres of water has become a permanent source of drinking water for Vimaltai’s family and is catering to her other needs too. She is now able to take both Kharif and Rabi crops for the first time in her life. Her farm yields her five quintals of soyabean, three quintals of jowar and two quintals of tuar fetching her Rs 28,000 during Kharif season and Rs 20,000 for blackgram during Rabi. Her family has now attained food grain security. Her son has found work.