SOURCE: E-BOOK ON SUCCESS STORIES RELEASED BY THE PRIME MINISTER ON CIVIL SERVICES DAY 2017
Shivanagappa, a 58 year old small farmer, lives in the Honnegowdanahundi village in the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka. He had cultivated black gram on his 2.23 Ha. of dry land and survived on sheer will power and ardent prayers because Chamarajanagar is a drought prone region for the past decade.
During good monsoon years, he used to harvest 1500 kg of black gram and earn a net income of INR 1 lakh. But in 2016, due to just 50% of rainfall, the crop had completely dried, and he could harvest only 100 kg black gram seeds. He had no option but to preserve those seeds for sowing in the coming Kharif 2017.
But in a way God has listened to Shivanagappa’s prayers. He was one of the 20,150 farmers who had enrolled for PMFBY during Kharif 2016 where crop insurance claims of INR 10.86 crores had benefitted 16,590 farmers of the district. He has claimed INR 45,605/- under PMFBY.
A major portion of the relief amount has helped him in the timely land preparation, buying, transportation and application of farmyard manure. He also managed to repay a part of a loan he had borrowed at high interest. Rest of the amount helped in ensuring a college education for his son.
Given the continued drought in the district, the claim amount provided under PMFBY to the farmers was waived. For those farmers who had not availed any loan, this relief helped them to become self-sufficient instead of having to run to money lenders for the purchase of seeds, preparation of land, etc.
“This crop insurance Scheme is like ‘an oasis in the desert’ – and I no longer have to beg the money lenders for money – they fleece us all the time, more so during the drought period,” he added.
Now that he is free of them and can focus on his work, the word insurance has a new meaning for him. “Maybe, I should look at other Government insurance schemes too” , he says.