Source: e-Book on Success stories released by the Prime Minister on Civil Services Day 2017
Here is a story of grit and determination, of fighting against all odds not just to survive but to prosper. B. Lakshmidevi of Mannila village, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, had lost her husband to chronic illness in 2014. Her family owns 5 acres of land, where groundnut was cultivated under rainfed conditions. She had an agriculture debt of INR 2 lakhs. And another debt of INR 5 lakhs, the money she had borrowed for her husband’s medical expenses.
Overwhelmed by her debt burden of INR 7 lakhs and the responsibility of bringing up her two teenage sons, she even contemplated suicide at one point. But there was a ray of hope in the form of the Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY). In August 2015,
she attended an awareness programme on drip irrigation at the Gram Panchayat. Since she was a member of the local women’s self-help group, she borrowed INR 1 lakh from there and drilled a borewell in her field. She was sanctioned drip irrigation under PMKSY and was later trained at the Horticulture Training Institute in the nuances of horticulture cultivation with drip irrigation.
Soon, she started cultivating things on her 5-acre land. The plants started bearing fruits in nine months, and at present, she is harvesting 150 kgs of things every alternate day from the 1,100 plants on her land. Today, she has cleared all her debts, and her sons attend college. Her living conditions have significantly improved, and she is now a respected member of society in the village. All thanks to that one meeting at the Gram Panchayat.