Monsoon Plans – HERD Organic Farms

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June to September, when hopefully the monsoons would be in full vigor, HERD Organic Farms will make certain activities a priority work-area for the team working on it. This is going to be important if we are to take full advantage of nature’s bountiful downpours. Along with the rest of the farming fraternity we will be welcoming the annual rainy season that makes the land lush and allows natural underground waterways to get replenished thereby raising the water levels. This is why we have drawn up an action plan to be followed and implemented for the immediate future.

Soon heavy showers will be inundating the 42 acres of land located close to the periphery of the Pench National Park. The aim this season is two-fold: one to make the land commercially more viable, and two, to make the landscape attractive and beautiful. Even though we are working with progressive farming methodologies that include drip irrigation, protective farming, and other innovative farm management techniques, Indian farming will always be dependent on the Monsoons to revive the land.

We were already working on a water management system with an eye towards the leaner months when during dry summertime water can be in critical short supply. This is why the mission earlier had been to construct a dug well, that would channelize water wherever needed, through pipe ways to distribute it for irrigating crops. Hopefully the well would be recharged and brimming for the months to come as would the natural aquifers underground making the land good for cultivation.

This crucial quarter will have us undertaking a plantation drive alongside the peripheries of the farmland and also take on avenue plantation to make the inner walkways comfortable to go about.  The plan is to plant trees and shrubs that will demarcate the boundaries of the land. So plants of Teakwood, Neem, and Gulmohar will be spaced out to mark the defining edge. Saplings of Bougainvillea, Karwanda or cranberries and plants needed for Dashparni would be planted along the boundary hedge.

Avenue plantation will make use of trees like Ashoka, Bottle-brush, and Glyricedia to make the pathways look eye-catching and attractive. Also the lakeside will be having a multitude of Bamboo varieties around it making it beautiful and useful at the same time. We will see the saplings taking root and flourishing this monsoon season and by the end of the monsoons the landscape would have changed for the better.

For farm cultivation the plan is to grow vegetables like brinjals, tomatoes and cucumbers. In time we will also start experimenting with English vegetables like red capsicum, yellow capsicum, broccoli and cherry tomatoes. Importantly this season we will also start sweet lime and orange trees plantations with assistance from Regional Citrus Center in Nagpur. We would be implanting mother-plants of these citrus species to create orchards for long term cultivation.

We look forward to this time of the year when nature assists in facilitating the growth and development of foliage, turning the entire rural side into a riot of colors in various shades of green. HERD Organic Farm too will flourish and grow under careful supervision to create a prearranged and well- thought landscape that goes hand in hand with organic farming and cultivation.  We look ahead to a propitious monsoon that will augur well for the purposes.

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A Doctor for All Seasons

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The struggle to equate the balance between the haves and have-nots, finds perfect expression in Dr Amol Deshmukh’s undertaking offering healthcare delivery to all sections of society. His sensitivity to ailing populations, surviving in the middle of nowhere, has actualized and changed the context in which healthcare delivery can take place; even in remote rural regions. Being a doctor himself, often finds him in a hands-on role at ongoing medical health camps organized by HERD Foundation.

It is noteworthy that his politico-educationist backdrop allows him to envision a larger picture for the operational provision of essential healthcare services for disadvantaged people. Following the historic tradition of social service emanating from familial conditioning, provides him with resilience to continue offering such benevolent handouts to assist the underprivileged. Yes, they do well with free medical check-ups, subsidized healthcare costs, besides direct access to finest hospitals.

It is a happy combination of intentions and close collaboration and participation with Medical Institutes that adequately address health issues for rural people having little or no access to medical care. It must be a sense of deep conviction that enables him to pay attention, understand and support the lacunae in healthcare delivery, that makes him keep at it through innovative approaches for extending such outreach to people who need it so critically.

Notwithstanding a well-defined, public healthcare delivery system that is stagnating everywhere in our country, here is a doctor advocating and promoting a health care delivery model that is totally ingenious and being run selflessly for the benefit of rural populations, at their very door steps. Organizing mini, meso and mega medical healthcare camps comes easy for this Doctor for all Seasons, whose forte essentially lies in hospital management. Also he does not hesitate to readily pick up the stethoscope and listen a kid’s heartbeat or counsel addicts to a better way of life.