Changing lives:Pappulal Sharma

March 26, 2017: Jamwa Ramghar, Rajasthan

This is a transformation story of a 5 members family husband, wife and 3 children. Pappulal Sharma is the family head and resides at Bhiwas village in Jamwa Ramghar tehsil of Jaipur district.

He owned 1 hectares of land, out of which 0.25 was wasteland and the remaining land was irrigated through a bore well. Earlier before the Reliance Foundation interventions in the village, he used to cultivate Bajra in Kharif, Wheat and Barley in Rabi season on 0.75 hectares of land. The total annual production from his farm was 33 quintals of which he could sell on 5 quintals of wheat and 8 quintals of Barley that fetched an income of ₹20,000. Remaining produce was used for consumption by his family and the added responsibility of his brother’s family of three members after his death. At that time he was unable to manage with such meagre income. Both, Pappulal and his wife had to migrate frequently as labourers. Moreover, agricultural losses had also trapped in the vicious cycle of debt and the future of his children was at stake as he was not able to afford their education.

Reliance Foundation, initiated interventions during the year 2012-13. But, during the initial phases he was apprehensive about RF activities. After closely observing for around 1 year and seeing the impact in neighbouring farm land he was convinced. Thereafter, he regularly started attending VA (village association) meetings and learnt the importance of commercial vegetable cultivation, how to improve soil heath soil and lower the pest attacks. He aspired to for high return crops like vegetables cultivation in his irrigated area. Therefore, he seeked VA’s support in land development activities like bunding, Pond silt and FYM application to improve the soil fertility and levelling activity on waste land so that he can start cultivating it. He was also supported with fencing which was his major issue. The total cost of the support provided by RF is ₹100,120 over last 4 years.

As a result of RF support and his commitments, the production from his farm has increased from 33 quintals to 88 quintals per annum excluding fodder. Land levelling of 0.25 ha wasteland has enabled him to cultivate that patch too. Further, he had divided 1 hectares of land into two equal parts. On one part he grows chillies and vegetables in kharif and wheat, cluster bean and fodder in Rabi, while on the other land cultivates sweet corn and pearl millet in Kharif season and fodder in Rabi. Application of FYM, Pond silt and exposure on polypropylene crop cover and mulching usage has bought a significant change in cultivation pattern that has shifted from food crops to vegetable cultivation thereby raising his income from farm from ₹20,000 to ₹1,35,500.

Raised income has enabled him to buy second hand drip irrigation system for ₹35,000 that has reduced his drudgery. Further the family now also owns 2 buffaloes 2 cows and four calves and earns ₹30,000 from milk production. As of now, he along with family members is happy with the transformed life. Moreover, now he is debt free after paying ₹70,000 and now invests on the education of his children for their bright future.