A couple of weeks ago, Aasif Khan, Managing Director of Fabtech a company that has often supported Shivprabha’s initiatives through its CSR program wrote about our Farmers Clubs in the Vidharbha region.
This initiative, though not new to the world, was launched in 2017 in Vidarbha to support farmers through seed funding and technology know-how. We took it one step further by asking the farmers to invest back into the project the following year to keep the chain going. We started with a small group of 30 farmers, all of whom were deep in debt and without access to funds to farm their land for the coming monsoon season. Some of them are the widows of farmers who, steeped in debt and unable to carry on, had taken their own lives.
At the start of the 2018 cycle, these 30 farmers had collected seed funds and additional funds to support another 12 farmers. I would like to share with you the story of Raju Bhise, one of the most outstanding success stories from our original 30.
Raju Bhise is one of three brothers with 14 acres of ancestral land divided into three parcels. Lack of rain and an inadequate water delivery system had steeped him in debt with no hope for the future.
With his loan from Shivprabha, he expanded his farm’s water delivery system and planted cotton. He received an excellent yield. But this wasn’t enough for Raju. With the help of a Shivprabha expert, he is now also cultivating Brinjals, a Vidharbha staple and Lady’s Fingers. Raju also bought a bike so he could take his produce to market directly. With timely deliveries, Raju is earning almost Rs 50,000 every month. He has now also set up a flour mill in Lonwadi and has become a true farmepreneur!
There are many such Rajus in the Vidharbha region and even the rest of the country – hungry for success, their ambitions held back by circumstance. All they need is an opportunity provided by companies like Fabtech.
Fabtech’s Life Engineering mission speaks about saving lives by building pharmaceutical capability in places that have none to bring down the cost of life-saving medicines and making them easily accessible. I will go one step further and say that Fabtech extends the Life Engineering philosophy to everything they do. A life is a life – whether a farmer or a patient.