Farmer provides higher education to children.
The autumn of 2012 posed a difficult dilemma for Sekhar Reddy from Regallapalli village in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. His daughter Gangabhavani, a bright and promising student, was about to finish junior college and had expressed keen desire to study further. Sekhar was a paddy farmer and could not afford the cost of such higher education. Gangabhavani would help him at farm and save labour costs if she was disallowed higher education. Also, he had two more children, a son – Siva and a daughter – Indravathi. Educating the male child was a larger priority. Gangabhavani was going to be asked to forego her dreams and reconcile with working on the farm and eventually marriage. She complained in her silent prayers at the village temple.
It would involve Sekhar to move away from the non-remunerative paddy crop and experiment with Hemavati. He had earlier planted watermelons of other companies but was unsatisfied with the yield and returns. He shared his fears with Ram, who inspite of being strongly convinced, suggested that he plant only 4 acres of the 16 acres to mitigate the risk. Sekhar did just that. Now it was a wait and watch game. Gangabhavani increased her visits to the temple.
Prayers by the innocent seldom go unanswered.
That year, Sekhar got a bountifull yield of 13 tonnes per acre. This was sold at Rs.9.50 per kilo. With cultivation expenses at approx Rs.25,000 per acre, Sekhar earned almost a lac rupees per acre. The four acres of watermelon – Hemavati earned him almost Rs.4 lacs more than his estimate.
Sekhar was overjoyed. He had tears in his eyes when he allowed Gangabhavani to study further.
Today Gangabhavani is pursuing her B.tech (Civil) at N.B.K.R. College, Vakadu. Sekhar’s son Siva is pursuing his 1st year inter M.P.C at Narayana Junior College, Nellore. His youngest daughter, also a promising student, wishes to emulate her sister’s footsteps. Sekhar is supportive of her dreams. He now plans to shift a major portion of his field to Hemavati watermelons.
Sekhar farms about 16 acres, but most of this was paddy which was hardly remunerative. He had attended one of the farmer meets organized by Ram Yadav from Camson and had seen other farmers showering heaps of praises on Camson’s hybrid watermelon Hemavati. After the meeting, he asked Ram to visit his plot. Ram visited the plot and strongly recommended the variety be sowed immediately.