“I was a small farmer from Kathia Kheda village of Rajsamand District of Rajasthan, who had never seen the school. My whole family needed to get engaged in daily labour, working 14-16 hours per day, to ensure two-time meals since my childhood”, says Bherulal Bheel. “But I have been always very ambitious and desirous to become a “Forward Farmer”, Bherulal added.
The journey of Bherulal’s success began when his family bought the land from the money they saved working as peasant and he and his brother decided to work together on their farm.
Then in April 2011, Bherulal became one of the beneficiaries of “Improved Agriculture-Horticulture and Water Conservation Project” run by Hindustan Zinc in collaboration with BAIF as part of their community service initiatives. Under this project, Bherulal along with other farmers was trained on different aspects of modern agriculture technology and systematic farming through demonstration and exposures. His exposure to different forms of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, technical and marketing was helpful in his turn-around.
At the time of intervention by Vedanta’s group company Hindustan Zinc, the situation of Bherulal Bheel was quite critical. His primitive and age old methods of cultivation and harvesting for not yielding good crop. Hindustan Zinc encouraged him for modern techniques and for practicing various areas like improved agriculture techniques, commercial cultivation, organic farming, use of micro nutrients, remedial measures of local disease among crops.
The project of Hindustan Zinc was designed to reduce the risk, maximize the land usage and to prevent the dependency on rainfed cultivation. The project had focus towards short and long term farming, low margins to high return and finally making agriculture a steady source of livelihood.
Hindustan Zinc exposed Bherulal along with other fellow farmers to KVK Chittorgarh, Mount Abu and Agriculture University, Bikaner, to learn & experience best agriculture practices in horticulture, floriculture and vegetable cultivation etc. After the successful result shown by vegetable cultivation, Hindustan Zinc also helped in construction of a ploy house to grow vegetables when it is usually off season.
Gradually Bherulal Bheel became an example for other farmers of his community to follow. The then Hon’ble Minister of Road Transport and Highways, GOI – Dr. C.P Joshi recognized his contribution during District Level Agriculture Mela.
Bherulal Bheel now optimally utilizes the available water sources through Drip Irrigation System received under the Drip Irrigation Scheme of Agriculture Department of Rajasthan. Due to this project Bherulal who earned Rs. 80,000 per year now is aiming to earn Rs. 2.5 lacs within a year.
“Hindustan Zinc gave me a life of Dignity”, Bherulal Bheel proudly mentions.