This Jharkhand farmer spent 14 years digging a 'pond'

   Apr 29, 12:51 pm

Dumka, Apr 29 (ANI): Need is the mother of all inventions, says the old proverb. Today's transformed world has evolved new experiences that modify the old adages too: Denial is the new mother of all inventions. And sixty five-year old Shayamal Chaudhary of Jharkhand proved it right by single-handedly digging a pond in his village with fourteen years of dedicated effort.

A farmer from Vishnu Pur of Kurua village, Sukhjora Panchayat, Shyamal Chaudhary, requested the Block Development Officer to have a pond dug that would fulfil the irrigation requirements of the fields. After filing several applications and visiting the officer many a times, a determined Shayamal lost neither courage nor his farming skills. Instead, he took this denial as a challenge and started digging a pond on his own land.fter fourteen years of continuous hard work, he not only created a pond but gifted it to the community that was going through hard times in the absence of irrigation related facilities.

Here is a person who is an inspiration in an agricultural country like India. He also reminds us of Late Dashrath Manjhi, the mountain man who independently brought down a 360-ft long, 25-ft high hill and created a 16-ft wide pass in place of an almost impenetrable space.

His twenty two years of hard work was inspired by his love, his wife, and got him international acclaim. The Government of Bihar not only awarded his efforts but also gave him a state burial out of respect. Dashrath Manjhi has made a place for himself in history. However, with Shyamal Chaudhary, destiny has played the game of irony as he has not been able to even garner the attention of his neighbouring villages, leave alone the state and the country.

Fourteen years of his life were committed to bringing a change in the lives of the farmers for which he demanded nothing. When Shyamal, a Class Eight dropout, started out, many people taunted him. He simply ignored them and remained focussed on his objective. "I never asked for help," says the farmer who started digging the pond in 1997 and completed it in 2011. The pond, 100x100 metres long and 22 feet deep, now benefits numerous villages in the vicinity: Kuruvaa, Petsar, Margadi,Beltikari, Vishnupur and Baiganthara to name a few.

On his nine bigha of land, Chaudhary produces a variety of vegetables and fruits like potatoes, onions, bananas and mangoes. He then started fish farming in the pond. The increased income is enough for the survival of his four daughters and a son. Quite happy with outcome of his efforts, Chaudhary feels that his life is blessed as the farmers now have a year-long solution to their irrigation woes.

Chaudhary asked the government department to help with a retaining wall and a pump set and pipes for irrigation, but all of his demands have fallen on deaf ears. The Officers did not pay heed, despite being aware of his remarkable achievement. Undeterred, he tried to access the Agriculture Minister Satyanand Jha, which has not produced any positive outcome so far.

When, on the one hand, India's farmers are committing suicides, a few like Chaudhary are willing to find a solution.

The Charkha Development Communication network feels that such successful farmers should be encouraged by the government, which at the moment is woefully not the case in Jharkhand. Chaudhary is nevertheless moving ahead, ready to help his fellow farmers, irrespective of the attitude of the state government towards him.

Like Dashrath Manjhi, Chaudhary is living up to his ideals. He not only interacts with the farmers but encourages them to understand their real strength. Shyamal is delighted to see farmers around him respond to his effort. This is his real award. By Shailendra Sinha (ANI)

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