Many a times, the simple, illiterate teach us bigger lessons and show us the right way to live life. That’s the thought which came to mind when we came across this story on Rahibai, living in the remote Kombhalne village of Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district. Rahibai shows us how it is not always education but common sense and will power which has the might to change life.
20 years ago, one time, her grandson fell gravely ill. Rahibai was convinced vegetables and food grains containing poison had made the child unhealthy as they were packed with hybrid seeds, chemicals and fertilisers. That day, she decided no one in her household will eat there “shop” vegetables, fruits and foodgrains. Thus started her journey to conserve and save indigenous seeds, which she says need just air and water for cultivation.
She toiled for 20 years and, today, she has conserved and multiplied about 43 landraces of 17 crops for paddy, hyacinth bean, millets, pulses, oil seeds etc by establishing a germplasm conservation centre.
Though Rahibai is unware of the scientific terms and theories, what she has developed on her own is known as System of Rice Intensification (SRI) methods, participatory seed selection, organic farming techniques and nursery establishment.
Today, she shares her knowledge with 3,500 farmers and more significantly, about 122 landraces of 32 crops are under conservation in her seed bank.
Now that’s what we call inspiring story for the week!