In an inspiring real life story, a Pune-based couple has left behind the comforts of life in the Maharashtra city to uplift the lives of the people residing in a remote village of Manipur.
The couple, David Gandhi and his wife Usha Gandhi, both of 56 years have made Aben village in Manipur their home since 2016.
The couple is presently engaged in educating the farmers of this remote Manipur village about sustainable farming to maximize their production in their farms.
The husband-wife duo is also training the teachers and students of the only primary school situated in the village.
David Gandhi, an alumni of College of Agriculture in Pune is an agricultural scientist with a career spanning over over 30 years.
He had visited the village of Aben in 2016 during a project and was moved by the plight of the villagers who are far away from modernity and have been indulging in shifting (jhum) cultivation which is requires more labour, time consuming and also not environment friendly.
Without getting support from any quarter, Gandhi volunteered to work for the betterment of the farmers in that remote village of Manipur.
Gradually, he and his wife started teaching the farmers about Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT) method that requires less labour, offers food security and is also environment friendly.
A report quoting Gandhi stated that SALT also involves rearing livestock like goats which is an additional source of income.
The goats can feed on the leguminous fodder plants grown on the farm and the dung can be converted into compost and applied to the soil to maintain its fertility.
His efforts bore fruit as more and more farmers of the village have adopted to this technique of farming. Even farmers of nearby villages have shown interest in adopting the SALT farming.
On the other hand, Usha Gandhi, who is an educationist took up the task of training the teachers of the primary school of the village.
According to her, she found that the teachers are not properly trained and the classes are being managed by youths of the village who act as substitute teachers.
She had also developed a syllabus for the kindergarten. She started teaching English to the young kids and also their mothers so that they can converse with their children in English.
The couple is a contended one now with support in the form of small donations of cash, books and stationery for kids from friends pouring in.