SOURCE: E-BOOK ON SUCCESS STORIES RELEASED BY THE PRIME MINISTER ON CIVIL SERVICES DAY 2017
Pithoragarh, popularly known as ‘Little Kashmir’, is a hill station of exquisite natural beauty and serenity. But for Kailashnath, surrounded though he is by ethereal beauty, life was handing out a raw deal. Like most small and marginal farmers in this hilly district, he too was finding it tough to cultivate and successfully harvest any crop because of the topography and lack of irrigation facilities. “More than half of 80,000 farmers of our district own less than 0.5 hectares. We depend on rainfall which has become unpredictable. Most of the youth have migrated. Damage from wild animals is another threat,” laments Kailashnath.
But now, things are changing for the better. “The district officials organised farmer meetings in our village and told us about profitable farming techniques and how we could claim money for crop loss under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna,” Kailashnath says.
Now, for the first time, Kailashnath and fellow farmers are not filled with anxiety; they have the security of PMFBY to fall back on. “Soon we hope we can persuade our young boys not to migrate. My sister is all alone now – all her five children are working as labourers in Delhi. Neither are they making enough money to send home, nor are they able to even eat properly. We miss our mountain air when we leave home. I hope and pray that at least now, agriculture could be profitable and we can make a decent living,” he says with a sad smile on his weather-beaten face.