Nabanita Das is no stranger to awards. But today’s felicitation on International Women’s Day by the State BJP Mahila Morcha in Jorhat was special, as it was a recognition of what she had achieved as a woman.
Three members of the Morcha visited her at her organic farm at Potia Gaon, near the Nimatighat about 12 kms from the town and without any fanfare handed her a mekhela sador in appreciation of what she had achieved in the sphere of woman’s emancipation.
A nurse by profession, Nabanita left her career in 2009 to take up what her father and forefathers had done for ages.
“I was inspired by the growing of fruits and vegetables at Elengmora, where one of my sisters is married. I first cleared the Number 2 Charigaon sapori, a sand bank of the Brahmaputra located near the Borsolla beel of thick overgrowth. I had seen my grandfather and father cultivating vegetables here but now not even cattle strayed here for fear of leopards.”she said.
Tasting success but still not satisfied as the strip of land remained under water during the annual flooding of the river in the rainy season, Nabanita acquired a three bigha plot of land at Potiagaon. She later expanded this to six bigha.
“The land was a paddy field and needed to be converted for growing vegetables, fruits and flowers. The people were astonished to see me mount the JCV alongside the driver and instruct him as to what I wanted done. Today the other farmers here are taking tips from me and are also growing vegetables on their fallow land,” she said.
Nabanita’s produce is totally organic. She fends of pests with mixtures of neem and other shrubs as well as variations of Trichoderma.
In 2016, the Indian Council of Agriculture and Research (ICAR) gave her the Best Farmer Award at the Assam Agricultural University and this year on February 22, ICAR, Patna awarded her again after she was selected by the University along with 10 other progressive farmers of the region.
On Republic Day she had been jointly feted by the Paradise Group and Small tea Growers Association here.
Jonali Bora, state BJP Mahila Morcha president, Anjali Konwar and MunmeeTamuly, Jorhat district BJP Mahila Morcha president and Secretary, respectively, praised Nabanita for her effort.