I am a farmer, from the hills of the beautiful land of Uttarakhand but my life was never beautiful before! Uday, a training program organized by IIM–FIED, Kashipur, and UGVS-ILSP transformed my entire life. To know my story, read the entire blog.
Born, raised, and living in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, I am a farmer, just like my fellow farmers, who are believed to live in comforts in the lap of nature, but this beauty consumes us. The hard terrain of the Himalayas breaks our bones and our confidence to live. We know that a world exists beyond the hills, we have often heard of it but never experienced it before. We are so involved in our strenuous lives, sulking in the sun, drenching in rains, and shivering in the snow, farming is what we have always known.
I cultivated ginger, turmeric, chilly, spinach, coriander, and kidney beans for my family consumption. That is what the source of food for my family was. And if at times, the produce is excess so I sell it in the market, I earn some money from it. I earn around 4000 to 5000 in a month. It might look like a joke, but my family of five depends on this 5000. We never slept with an empty stomach but with what I earned I couldn't afford to give good schooling to my children and their lives too would have been lost in the fogs of these hills. But then, I received a call from UGVS and IIM-FIED for participating in a seven-day entrepreneurship development program, and my life changed forever.
Seven Days That Rewrote My Existence
IIM-FIED, Kashipur in collaboration with UGVS organized a seven-day entrepreneurship program named 'UDAY-21' at Rudrapur, a city in Udham Singh Nagar District of Uttarakhand. This program was only a travel package for us, we took it as a break from our grueling lives. Just like hundreds of other farmers, we also reached to attend the program.
Every day we got a lot to learn. We didn't even know the difference between profits and net profits, but we learned. We learned a lot:
- If we can earn by selling milk, then we can earn double by selling mawa( reduced whole milk )
- If we are selling potatoes today, then tomorrow we can even sell chips
- We can earn thousands from Aipan, our local art.
- We don't need a lake, we can practice fish culture in a drum
We got to know during the training that we can earn more by investing profits rightly.
Dusk for All the Dawns of Our Lives!
Staying together, how these seven days passed by, it felt to be a matter of seconds. When I returned home, it was sunset, but I knew that after attending 'UDAY-21', I would just have sunrises in my life.
I wonder, we used to think that we should migrate to plains for a better living. But now we know our earnings are just a direction to our dreams.
Dreams that would soon be a reality for all of us. My children have started going to school and I feel my life is changing for a better tomorrow. We all the farmers are extremely thankful to IIM-FIED and UGVS for reconstructing our life beautifully. We now proudly say that we live in a beautiful place and these hills appear more appealing to us than ever before.
To grow further, we need your support. Choose Hilans, Choose us, and offer us a chance to give you the goodness of nature at your doorsteps.