Nawabpet: Determination, grit and a little push from the government can transform ones life. Guguloth Nagaraju, a 28-year-old tribal man and native of Shivaigudem tanda in Medak district has just proved that.
Motivated by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s dream of seeing farmers in the State having a handsome bank balance, Nagaraju, a graduate, took to poly-house cultivation, one of the many initiatives of the TRS government in the agriculture sector to change the face of the rural economy. Hailing from a tribal hamlet that is part of Lakkireddygudem Panchayat in Shivvampet mandal, Nagaraju was employed by a private pharma company after completing his graduation, taking home Rs 15,000 per month.
It was a constant struggle for the tribal youth, who not only had a problem making both ends meet but had a Rs 5 lakh debt the family had accumulated over the years waiting to be cleared. The family had been into farming for generations on their four acre land, without reaping any profits, and that had made Nagaraju shun agriculture. Everything changed when the district Horticulture Department officials decided to motivate the family to take up poly-house cultivation in 10 guntas (about quarter of an acre).
Nagaraju, who never thought he would pick up the plough, took up the challenge and the results far exceeded his expectations. That was enough for him to quit the job and take up cultivation as a permanent profession.
Speaking to Telangana Today, Nagaraju said that the entire family used to hardly earn Rs 60,000 per annum after cultivating various crops in their land. “When we earned Rs 1.5 lakh on a three-month cucumber crop, I began to gain confidence that farming that made us struggle for decades would change our lives,” the beaming Lamabada youth said.
Nagaraju’s mother, Vali says she always used to dream of her son helping them lead a better life by taking up a job. “I never thought we would make so much money by cultivating a small piece of land,” she said. Slowly but steadily, the family has now started clearing their debts.
With the government offering 95 per cent subsidy on horticulture for tribal people, Nagaraju paid his share of Rs 47,000 to get the poly-house for his 10 gunta area. Horticulture Officer, Medak, D Narsaiah said they were now considering extending the poly-house cultivation to another half-acre. Since Nagaraju’s elder brother and married sister were also living with them, Nagaraju hopes that the entire joint family would find work to lead a decent life.