In 22 Years, Prema Has Helped Over 5 Lakh Women Become Organic Farmers, Mentors

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Read full article by Sayantani Nath @the better India PC: TBI

“These women were stuck in the daily rigmarole of managing the kitchen, kids and the household. But now they were emerging as faces of a widespread change.”

As a mother of two, 24-year-old Rajshree from Andur village in Osmanabad, Maharashtra, was at her wit’s end. Her children, aged 3 and 5, were falling sick almost routinely every two or three weeks. The nature of the ailments was common, and the parents were incurring heavy medical expenditure.

Rajshree’s husband was the sole breadwinner for the family who practised chemical farming in a small landholding of around 4.5 acres. Frequent droughts and erratic climate in Marathwada had affected the cash crop yield in his fields. 

Lack of proper nutrition and consequent ill-health had affected his small family of four. 

It was at such a juncture in 2018 that Rajshree came across Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) – a non-profit organisation in rural Maharashtra run by Prema Gopalan, who was recently crowned by World Economic Forum as ‘Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year’. 

At the SSP centre in Andur, Rajshree learnt the nitty-gritty of organic farming and started growing organic pulses, legumes, vegetables and leafy greens in a small portion of the family land, as per the one-acre farming model preached by SSP. Her family started consuming only the organic food crops cultivated by her and there was a drastic improvement in their health and income.

“In the last 6 months, my children haven’t gotten sick at all,” Rajshree beams with happiness.

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Posted on

March 15, 2020

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