Tirth is a small village near Tuljapur in Osmanabad District. This village was progressive towards development and accepted the work of SSP as it entered the village. SSP team conducted meetings in the village and oriented the villagers regarding their work and organic farming and its benefits. They federated the women farmers in the village into a women’ farmers federation called “Nisarg Krishi Sakhi Mandal”. For successful functioning of any groups activities there is requirement of effective leadership. This leadership was found in Surekhatai and Komaltai. They oriented many other women in the village regarding organic farming, its benefits and hazards of chemical farming and ill practices in traditional farming that causing health problems as well as the soil’s fertility.
The women of the federation were keen towards practicing organic farming and vegetable cultivation. KVK’s facilitators Dr. Vilas Takhankar trained all the members several best practices of organic cultivation and their importance. Here the women farmers learnt about land and soil testing, vermi composting, making fertilisers and pesticides from natural products and scientific methods of organic farming and vegetable cultivation. They also learnt the ill effect of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
Under the leadership of Surekhatai there was a new green revolution of organic farming in the village. They all now started practicing organic farming and soil and water testing. Women’s participation in farming increased immensely and their yield also had increased considerably. They produced several vegetables and these were used for consumption as well as selling them. By the end of second year of vegetable cultivation they realised that there was considerable improvements in women and child health in the village and their health expenses have reduced. Now the villagers were able to consume nutritious food easily and affordably available in the village. Earlier in three acres of land they could produce 7 to 8 sacks of Jowar but with mixed agricultural practises they could produce 7 to 8 sacks of Jowar and some vegetables in one acre of land. If one crop failed earlier the farmer was left with nothing but today the farmer yet has a second option in his hand for his survival.
Initially started with one Women farmers’ federation, today there are 15 such women federation working in the village. With due regards of Surekhatai the villagers have nominated and voted her as gram panchayat member.
Komaltai is another member of the Nisarg Krishi Sakhi Mandal and is an example of dedication and hard work. She had gained no formal education in agriculture neither had any earlier specific experience in agriculture but through experiential leaning and with help of KVK’s training she trains several other groups on organic farming in the village. She also initiated cultivation of Mung Daal and Onion and later many adopted the same. She gained knowledge through her efforts and dedication and has benefited not only her own but many other members. Her efforts are an inspiration for other members in the village.