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The Story Behind Jashpur Administration Rushing a Tractor to a Farmer Ploughing with his Horse and an Ox

A video of a farmer of Jaspur in Chhattisgarh plowing land with a horse and an ox has gone viral on social media. This unnatural scene caught the eyes of people and moved a government officer to decide to help the farmer. The officer is Jashpur District Collector Ritesh Kumar Agrawal and he made arrangements to get a tractor delivered to the farmer, Babban Kumar.
Indian Masterminds Stories

It’s a hard reality and a bitter truth that the financial conditions of small-holding farmers in India is not at all good. These marginal farmers are often forced to cultivate on agricultural holdings of less than one hectare or only one to two hectares. On top of that, they face challenges every day, be it economic or weather related.

Nothing highlights the small and marginal farmers’ everyday struggles better than a recent case of a farmer from the Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh. Troubles mounted for this farmer after he lost his 13 cows. After that, he struggled to plow his leased land with the help of an ox and a horse.

A video of him plowing the land with the horse and the ox went viral on social media and this unnatural scene caught the eyes of people and moved an officer enough to make him decide to help him. The officer is Jashpur District Collector, Ritesh Kumar Agrawal and Indian Masterminds got in touch with him to get more details. 

Jashpur District Collector, IAS officer Ritesh Kumar Agrawal

HELP FROM THE ADMINISTRATION

About 57.8 per cent of the rural households in India depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. More than 69 per cent of these families either have modest agricultural holdings or have to survive by cultivating on land taken on lease from rich land owners.

Speaking with Indian Masterminds, 2012-batch IAS officer Ritesh Kumar Agrawal said, “It is our duty to help people if they are facing any problem. As soon as we got to know about that incident, we just sent the tractor to the farmer with officials. There are lots of schemes in the state where the administration can help that farmer. This time, the district administration has helped with a tractor. Further, we will arrange ploughing equipment for him from the Custom Hiring Centre or Krishak Sewa Kendra.”

For the unversed, Custom Hiring Centre (CHC) is basically a unit comprising a set of farm machinery, implements and equipment meant for custom hiring by farmers. The main objective of CHC is to supply farm implements to small, marginal and poor farmers at subsidized rates on hire.

Farmer Babban ploughing the field

THE STORY BEHIND THE VIDEO

There is a government provision to even provide oxen to tribal farmers, but the farmer in question, Babban Kumar, was not entitled to it. In the viral video, Babban Kumar from Bagicha region of Jashpur, around 400 km from Raipur, is heard saying that he had 13 cows three years ago. But all the cows died due to some disease. So he bought a calf for two thousand rupees and nurtured it for two years till it grew up. Meanwhile, he also managed to gather enough money to buy a foal.

Babban nurtured them both and hoped the calf would be strong enough to plough one day. He borrowed an ox from someone and pairing it with his calf, tried ploughing, but they couldn’t sync. He was in despair as monsoon had arrived but he couldn’t even plough the land. So, he decided to use his horse together with the ox to plough.

In the viral video, he also says that since his financial condition was not good, he could not afford a tractor. “I don’t even have my own land. I can do farming only by taking other people’s land on lease.”

He also says that he had arranged for another bull but it got lazy. That’s why he had to use his horse to plow the field. “I had been nurturing a young horse and a calf, so I tried them on the field for ploughing.”

Babban Kumar, who has become famous ever since the video of his unique way of ploughing went viral, says that he started using bullocks and horses as a trick for plowing. But this idea worked! So he started plowing the field using this ‘trick’.

After receiving a tractor for ploughing from the district administration, which came as a big surprise to him, he is now very grateful but, at the same time,has also requested for a pair of oxen as a help from the government.


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