Lime kiln workers become progressive farmers

Lime kiln workers become progressive farmers
Highlights

In a decade and half, inhabitants of a small hamlet, Sugali Thanda, 10 km away from Vempalli in Pulivendula Assembly constituency, have became progressive farmers giving up work as coolies in lime kilns, thanks to the support of the officials and banks. They worked hard and scripted a success story. The hamlet has set an example for the whole state to emulate. AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Nai

Vempalli: In a decade and half, inhabitants of a small hamlet, Sugali Thanda, 10 km away from Vempalli in Pulivendula Assembly constituency, have became progressive farmers giving up work as coolies in lime kilns, thanks to the support of the officials and banks. They worked hard and scripted a success story. The hamlet has set an example for the whole state to emulate. AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu lauded the farmers of the village.

Prior to becoming progressive farmers, they toiled hard in lime kilns. While the male members worked in the kiln excavating lime stone and preparing lime out from it, female members sell them going from place to place. The hamlet located on the outskirts of Bakkannagaripalle has 568 families of which 260 families are tribals and the rest comprising backward class people.

The government not only distributed waste lands to the families in the village but also got the rocky terrain leveled, motivated the tribals to raise horticultural crops and doled out subsidies. Their pump sets were energised free of cost and drip-irrigation equipment were provided with 100 per cent subsidy. Further, the government gave subsidy on the crop harvested and banks also extended loan facility.

Barring 10 families in the village, no other villager has been working in lime kilns. Bakkannagaripalle today presents the sight of a green carpet spread across the hilly region with omnipresent banana plantations. The tribals got 30 bore wells sunk, power connections and transformers installed on subsidy. They even built a check-dam to cater to the needs of the village.

A farmer attributes the success to loans advanced by banks on time., and also putting to good use the subsidy given by the government apart the drip-irrigation facility provided to them. Another farmer says that the people of the village had faced many problems for want of livelihood. “We are leaving a comfortable life because of the support we got from the then government and the then chief minister Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy,” he says.

According to a young farmer, presently the villagers are educated and also practicing agriculture in addition to working in offices. “The hardships that our elders had faced are beyond description. We are no match to them in encountering such problems. We are content with assisting them in farm work,” he says.

By Ramesh Pagadala

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