The science tells us that the earth revolves around itself when it rotates around the sun. But there is something similar in human life also. We also come back in the same direction as we started, when we try to revolve around ourselves. You can consider the example of farming, mainly, in this regard. From conventional farming, we turned to modern farming, hybrid seeds, more yielding varieties and now again turned to organic farming. This is not an attempt to talk or decide about good-bad things about modern farming, but after revolving around, we are again back to our original position, which we can’t deny.
That is why in today’s age too, both Rahibai Popere and her work are majorly important. Both her foresight and her efforts for preserving conventional seeds will be unique. Rahibai is a resident of Popeparwadi, Taluka Akole, District Ahmadnagar. According to the standards of the well-educated or highly educated world, Rahibai is truly uneducated. But her work is very huge, like a hill. Even though she is not well-educated, thoughts of Rahibai and her efforts to implement the thoughts are the guide and roadmap for the educated world too.
A well-honoured and awarded Rahibai, a lady of such stature, does not need any introduction. But the question is how did the idea of saving traditional seeds or making such a seed bank come to her mind? Today the effects of hybrid or similar seeds are coming out in front of the world. Using these seeds is mainly beneficial for a better crop yielding and it is also financially beneficial… But on a long-term basis is disadvantageous. Even before these disadvantages came in front of us, Rahibi had started working on the seed bank. Is it not enough to appreciate her foresight about this? Being one of the farmers, agriculture is my favourite topic too. That is why Rahibai’s efforts and push for the cultivation using traditional seeds is appreciable. There is the least possibility that farmers do not have information about the availability of seeds for further cultivation by the use of conventional seeds. With experience, they also would have understood that with hybrid seed this is not possible. But it must have taken some time to understand. During the same period, the work of preserving and promoting traditional seeds by Rahibai was in progress. That’s why this job is worthwhile.
Rahibai has received many awards for her work, but I can also honour her with one award, this fact also satisfies me. While receiving this award, she gave the idea about the problems in running a traditional seed bank. Many farmers in the Maharashtra and Rahibai were facing the same problem and it was continuous… Farmers who are working hard doesn’t have their own shelter to stay. To resolve this distressing situation, our government is trying and taking appropriate steps and will continue to do so. There has been much good, and positive changes occurring due to the vision of Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. We have taken steps like Chief Minister Solar Farming Scheme and HVDS in agriculture. I am sure that even more steps will be picked up and I promise you for the same here … But this is not the time and occasion to discuss it.
However, the award was given to Rahibai, but there was a discomfort in the mind due to the misery she was facing. I was constantly thinking about what I can do in this situation… And finally, I took one decision… to give Rahibai her own house…
A house where foreign delegates or Indian delegates can visit her easily to know more about Rahibai’s work and a house where there is a perfect system for saving seeds. The house, so designed is planned in such a way that her basic needs will get fulfilled and had started making efforts in that direction.
Today, I am happy to announce that through the Kartavya Foundation, Rahibai has got her own house where all her needs can be fulfilled. I am also satisfied that I could contribute to this noble cause with my little share. Now, Rahibaibi can continue to work more and more. If hundreds-thousands of people are getting the benefit of her work today, in the future millions of people should be able to get the benefit through Rahibai’s work. Not only Maharashtra but also the whole country should be prosperous, healthy and “sujalam-sufalam” in the future. What else a farmer like me could have demanded from God?