Young women farmers with mission 'Poison-free farming'
Farming is mostly a male-dominated profession but some young women are leaving their footprints in the field of farming by adopting and promoting poison-free farming.
For some of them it is passion, some want to be independent, and some want to carry forward the family tradition. Their circumstances are different but the mission is same: 'poison-free farming'.
As the natural farming and environment festival is on at the community centre here, women farmers who promote organic vegetable farming were part of it.
Kamaljit Kaur, 36, from Bhotna village in Barnala district, is associated with poison-free farming for two years. She is in charge of three villages that guide others and promote such farming.
Kamaljit said, "Two years ago, Kheti Virasat Mission director Umendar Dutt came to our village for a lecture on poison-free farming. He said that a mother who should be a protector was serving poison to her children. These words touched me and from that day I am associated with the mission."
She said, "I was provided with free vegetable seeds; we grow vegetables for our household and not for commercial purposes. I now save around Rs 3,500 per month. Most important, medical expenses have been reduced."
She said, "Slowly I started motivating women from my village and now am doing it in three villages. Further, women motivate their relatives and friends to adopt our mission."
Talking about organic vegetables, she said the taste of the vegetable was entirely different and it took less time to cook.
"Regular field classes are provided in villages to make women understand the entire process of growing vegetables and identify insects as all insects don't harm plants," said Kamaljit.
Kiranjeet Kaur, 29, from Barnala district is facing a hard time due to her marital dispute, but vegetable farming has given a new direction to her life.
"I was depressed after the marital dispute but wanted to do something on my own so that I was not considered a burden. My father and brother bought nine marlas of land for me to start vegetable farming. I started it two months ago. We consume the vegetables at home and the rest is sold in the market. I also motivated women in the surrounding areas," said Kiranjeet.
She said, "Cow dung is the best natural way to increase productivity of vegetables. After putting year-old cow dung in water for four days and keeping that in a dark room, spray it on vegetables; it helps in increased output of vegetables."
Jaspreet Kaur, 20, is another budding farmer, also a student of second-year graduation. "I practise organic kitchen gardening. I provide free seeds to others so that they also adopt it. The idea came to me when my mother, a heart patient, was facing a tough time. Now her health has improved due to the use of organic vegetables," said Jaspreet.
Deepika, 22, from Uttarakhand was also there with her many varieties of beans. "Farming is in my blood; our ancestors started organic farming which has been adopted by generations," said Deepika.
"I started farming when I was nine; my father is a member of the Beej Bachao Andolan and the family environment is such that motivates me to do something innovative and useful for society."
"Beans are our home production and after hard work of many generations we were able to produce so many varieties," said Deepika.