PUNE: Apparently enthused by it's success last year, city-based NGO Vanrai has decided to send 55,000 youths to help farmers in Maval taluka sow paddy.
Last year, Vanrai had despatched 2,200 youth to help paddy growers in Maval taluka sow paddy. The farmers saw a 26 per cent increase in their yield as not only was more paddy sown but the entire exercise was carried out in time. Green activist Nandu Phadke had conceptualised this novel concept and led the project with Vanrai.
Although Maval taluka is famous for producing paddy, the farmers faced many problems during the sowing season as its difficult to get help and the sowing has to be done fast and completed in a stipulated time for good yield.
Phadke had therefore come up with the idea to encourage city youth to dedicate one day to help the paddy growers. The project was named Amrutvarsha Mahotsav.
About 2,200 youths, including 700 girls, from various institutes in the city went to Vinzar village in Maval area. They helped the farmers complete sowing in 225 acres. This led to an increase of 26 per cent in the yield.
Vanrai has, therefore, decided to send 55,000 youths from the city to help sow paddy on 5, 500 acres. The youth will be helping the paddy growers in Vinzar, Sonde, Vangani, Kolwadi, Sakhar Vajeghar and Velhe areas, in Maval.
The youth will be working in these areas from July 13 to 23. A group of 5,500 youths will work for one day each and ten students will cover one acre. The cost of breakfast, tea and lunch, amounting to Rs 250 per person, will be borne by Vanrai. The transport arrangements will also be made by the NGO.
Vanrai founder Mohan Dharia is of the firm belief that this exercise will help paddy growers and give the city youth hands-on experience in the field thus strengthening their bond with the rural life. "The students who participated last year have vowed not to ever leave food on the plate," said Dharia. Those interested can contact Shriram Gomarkar on 9850585628 and Nandu Phadke on 8149140395.