In a rare case, a lawyer with a handsome earning, took the risk of sacrificing his profession to take to organic farming for better health of his family and society.
Kamaljeet Singh Hayer, a 39-year-old resident of Sohangarh Rattewala village, situated at a remote location in Guru Har Sahai in Ferozepur district, after doing graduation in law, had started practising in the district courts in 2000. In a short span, he made a good name and started earning quit a lot.
However, two deaths in his family changed his way of thinking and injected in him the spirit of working for a healthy society. He lost his father in 2006 following a heart attack at the age of 53 and, four years later, his grandfather also expired but at the age of 101.
During the mourning days after the death of his grandfather, some people talked about the long age of his grandfather as he lived to the full for 101 years and, they expressed, this was the result of pure diet and the agricultural products produced without the use of chemicals and fertilisers that were leading to diseases such as heart attacks among the people at a young age.
This led him to think that this could be the reason that his father died just at the age of 53 and his father died at 101.
"My grandfather Balwant Singh Hayer passed away at the age of 101. I wondered sitting at his funeral wondering, he lived for 101 years, while his son lived only till the age of 53, and one of his grandson died at the age of just 10. What has happened to the lifespan of Punjabis? Why is it that we have been afflicted so badly by fatal diseases? Is it because we've distanced ourselves from nature to such a great extent? Will I also die early? Such questions haunted my mind," said Kamaljeet Singh.
"These thoughts disturbed me so intensely that I decided to give up the profession as an advocate and do farming that too without the use of any chemicals to save me and my family", said Hayer talking to HT.
"Earlier I was fighting for the rights of other people but now trying to convince farmers to adopt organic farming for a better future of present as well as future generations," said Kamaljeet.
"I started doing organic farming not only on my 20 acres of land, but also succeeded in prevailing upon other farmers to abandon the of chemicals and stop burning stubble in fields," said Hayer.
"Initially, even my family vigorously opposed the notion of organic farming but, later on, they came in my support," said the organic farmer.
"Now co-villagers Gurbaj Singh Dosanjh, Pappu Kumar, Ashok Kumar and me are doing organic farming in about 100 acres. Next year, we are aiming at launching 'A Farm to Kitchen' concept under which organic food products to will be made available to at least twenty families to increase production," said Hayer.
"We have planted 30 varieties of fruit trees besides herbal plants including alovera, tulsi and lemon grass etc.
"We are targeting to do organic farming in 200 acres in a year and plant more than 200 varieties of herbal plants," he said.
Kamaljeet was honoured for doing organic farming by Umender Dutt, a member of the special task force formed by the Prime Minister Office, New Delhi, to promote organic farming.