“I was told that a single woman cannot handle a farm, so I would never be successful. But I wanted to prove those who said such things wrong. This is to say of Sangeeta Pingle, a woman farmer doing grapes farming in Matori village of Nashik.
Life has tested Sangeeta step by step. First she lost her child and then her husband also died. After a few years the father-in-law was no more, but Sangeeta did not give up. To raise his two children, he took his steps towards the trails of the farm. People tried to weaken him. But his intention was firm. Today she drives a tractor, handles the market work and is also earning lakhs of rupees from her grapes farming.
by sangeeta The Better India “I lost my second child in 2004. I was still not over the shock that my husband died in a road accident in 2007. I was nine months pregnant at the time. Everything was ruined.”
“I was alone and my will to live was gone”
For 10 years, Sangeeta lived in a joint family with her mother-in-law and relatives. But in 2017 she parted ways with her mother-in-law due to family disputes.
Luck did not leave him here too. Two months later his father-in-law also died of the disease. Recalling those days, Sangeeta, 39, says, “I had lost the people who always supported me in life. Now I was alone and the will to live was gone.”
This family tragedy also meant that Sangeeta now had to single-handedly manage the 13-acre farm left by her father-in-law.
He said, “Farming was our only source of income. The relatives from whom we parted a few months ago claimed that I would not be able to handle the farm and the house alone. According to him farming is not the job of women.”
But Sangeeta proved them all wrong. Today she cultivates grapes and tomatoes on her 13 acres of land. Tons is produced and lakhs are earned from it.
problems never seem to end
Telling her story, Sangeeta says, “Took a loan to do farming by pledging her jewelery. Borrowed money from cousins also. My brothers helped me a lot in farming. He introduced me to every aspect of grapes farming. Which chemicals to use, when to use, what techniques to adopt to increase the yield and many more things. Being a science student, it didn’t take me long to learn them.”
Sangeeta had to face a lot of challenges while doing grapes farming. He said, “Sometimes the water pump gets damaged, sometimes the damage is due to unseasonal rains. Sometimes the insects engaged in the crop had to be dealt with, and sometimes the problem of the workers did not take the name of ending.
She adds, “Women take care of farming, but there are many other tasks that only men have been doing – such as driving tractors, repairing machines, using tools and going to the market to buy goods. There was no one to support me. Now I had to handle both the responsibilities. I learned to drive two wheeler and tractor. There were some days when I had to spend the whole day in the workshop to get the tractor repaired.
Farming taught passion and patience
Slowly but surely Sangeeta’s field started bearing fruit. Every year 800 to 1000 tonnes of grapes are produced in her farm, from which she earns 25 to 30 lakh rupees annually. She told that to compensate for the loss, she also cultivates tomatoes on a small scale.
Today Sangeeta’s daughter is doing graduation and son is studying in private school. Sangeeta has also planned to export grapes farming to increase her income. He told, “This time unseasonal rain and bad weather prevented me from achieving my target. But I will be able to do this in the next season, it is fully expected.”
According to Sangeeta, farming has taught her to have perseverance and patience. She is proud that she was able to prove herself in front of those who doubted her ability. She says, “I feel like I am still learning. I have a long way to go. But I am glad that I was able to overcome all the hurdles and achieve success. This is the result of my hard work and determination.”
Original article- Himanshu Nitnaware
Editing: G N Jha
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