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Report From the Field: A Farmer’s Story

I just returned from a busy and inspiring trip to India, where PRASAD Chikitsa is working towards improving the lives of people in the Tansa Valley.   I am excited to share the highlights of my trip with you.

Rural India is free from the hustle of city life, villages are peaceful, and people live modestly in small huts or homes made with clay or mud.  Most homes do not have water, electricity or indoor toilets.  The villagers are sweet and simple people, and it seems that whatever they have is enough to live their life happily, even when most households live below the poverty line.  The consistent droughts and heat waves create challenging conditions for crops.   Poor harvests result not only in debt but also in malnutrition.

Most of the farmers’ stories are grounded in very hard work.  Sudhakar Gahala is an impoverished tribal farmer who depends on agriculture for his livelihood.  He was unable to cultivate crops during the non-monsoon season because he did not have access to water for irrigation.  In 2013 he joined PRASAD Chikitsa’s agriculture initiative, and with great effort he dug his own well and planted 80 saplings, including mango trees.

Sudhakar's well 2014

Sudhakar’s Well – 2014

Watering tress 2014

Watering Trees 2014

Sudhakar's family

Sudhakar’s family

It was delightful to see Sudhakar’s orchard now and see how the ability to plant trees and grow a second crop is improving his family’s quality of life.  Apart from their shade-giving qualities, his trees produce food for family consumption and extra cash.

Sudhakar and his wife Sangita proudly posing by one of their fruit trees in 2018

Sudhakar and his wife Sangita proudly posing by one of their fruit trees in 2018.

It is my observation that helping people is not just about the number of services provided, but also about how we are genuinely making a difference to transform lives.  Our agriculture initiatives help families move beyond poverty and change their lives forever.

With gratitude,
Dr. M. Cecilia Escarra
Executive Director

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