Monday, December 6, 2010


His life has been full of struggle but he never gave up unlike other farmers, who succumbed to suicide... he was landless farmer once but today he proudly says –“With my hard work and savings, I finally managed to buy 2 acres. God has been very kind to me and has listened to my prayers. My daughter is married and my son works as a tractor driver and even at this age, I don’t ask a penny from my son... whatever I cultivate in these two acres, me and my buddhi (lovingly he calls his wife ‘buddhi’ - meaning an old woman) are living on that with great contentment!”

Meet the 75-year-old farmer Kisna Shravan Milmile from Naigaon (Bk), Yavatmal district in Vidarbha. He is a proud grandfather now and the pride on his face to show his 2 acre fields with cotton growing made me wonder... why does a 14 or 18 acre farmers succumb to suicide? After all Milmile kaka (as I call him in respect) also has struggled all his life in Vidarbha... for me, he is truly a role model that every Vidarbha farmers should take lessons from. The never dying spirit of this old man, (he still ploughs his own fields) has seen this landless farmer grow from a bonded labour for more than 30 to 40 years in his own village to become a proud owner of 2 acre of farm, build a pakka home, marry off his daughter in a nice manner and give a proper upbringing to his son and take good care of his beloved wife... I truly-truly saluted him from the bottom of my heart and even touched his feet to get his blessings to do something good for Vidarbha farmers and suicide farmers’ families.

75-Year-Old Farmers Kisna Shravan Milmile

He recalls, “I was never bright in studies, so never went to school to continue my schooling as it is we were very poor. During my younger days, I used to work here and there doing labour jobs to earn a little... and then I used to plough fields and work as a labourer in bigger farmers’ houses for years. For more than 15 years, I worked at the Sarpanch’s house and managed to save a little money. As a healthy young man, I used to do labour jobs to earn extra money... and I must have worked for more than 30 or 40 years for others ploughing their fields and doing all the odd jobs... deep down I always prayed and knew God will ultimately give me peace... and yes, he gave me finally in the shape of these two acres land. I have no complaints from the almighty, in fact, I am thankful because he gave me a life to live in a respectful manner. What more can I ask for?”

His life is like pages from a Hindi cinema, full of struggle, hardship and at last the vindication to live a life with respect and dignity. He takes out a pouch of tobacco and offers me sheepishly... I thank him and say, “Me nahin khaat hai kaka (I don’t chew tobacco kaka).” He smiles and then asks me if I would chew some supari (beetlenut)? I shook my head and he takes out some from his pocket. I took some to thank him for allowing me to spend some lovely time in his fields and know about his life’s struggle and success. He seemed very happy and so was I for meeting such an amazing role model in Vidarbha.

Farmer like Kisna Shravan Milmile never makes to the pages of dailies or any glossy pages of magazines but such success stories should be highlighted by one and all, so that other farmers can learn to follow in his footsteps. Hard work, the will to never give up, the devotion to be a proud farmer, the intelligence to save a little for decades to see his dream of owning his own farm and above all his honesty to lead the right way and not the short cut... well Kisna Shravan Milmile opened my eyes in many ways. He concludes, “My son will work for others but he is not ready to work in our own farm, this is the only sadness I have in my life... but then it is his life... I don’t interfere in the way he wants to live his life... My buddhi and me are in total bliss to lead a nice peaceful life now (smiles)!”

I bid him goodbye and became rich by his blessings. I do hope I will meet him again when I will visit Naigaon (Bk) once again!

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