This is indeed a very novel idea and a unique concept in itself that Rajesh Kumar wants to introduce community farming in Mumbai.
Albeit it is very rare, but we are glad to see that even an iconic TV actor like Rajesh Kumar wants to introduce community farming in Mumbai.
The actor, who is currently seen in Excuse Me Maadam (Star Bharat, 2020) alongside Divya Drishti (Star Plus, 2019) fame TV actress Nyra Banerjee, wants to introduce the concept of community farming. Talking about the same, he said, “The whole concept is about getting people attached to the land, and also creating awareness amongst the families that they should know where the vegetables that they are eating are coming from and where they are grown so that you can always check the quality. Whatever you eat alive, keeps you alive. So, if you are having chemical-free vegetables then your energy level, the way you function in day-to-day life becomes better. So, community farming is all about getting like-minded people together under one roof, where they grow vegetables, according to their choice and need and provide them with updates on WhatsApp. We also tell them about the deliveries in the month, we take care of their monthly quantity of the vegetables that they use and the quality as well. Also, the number of vegetables and the variety of vegetables they will be getting from just one place”.
The Sarabhai ace stellar actor that this concept will definitely work in Mumbai. Throwing light on the same, he said, “I’ve already created a model farm in Bihar. Here, I got together with three people and we have taken land on rent. We have planted approximately 20,000 trees and we are doing naturally grown vegetable farming on approximately 10 acres of land and trying to bring all the farmers under one roof. We want to provide them with the infrastructure and handhold them to switch from the normal chemical farming to natural farming”.
Furthermore, he also added, “Mumbaikars definitely can afford these kinds of vegetables. People are selling organic vegetables at a higher rate because I know it’s a very labour-intensive task to grow these. It’s always at an exorbitant price which is making it very exclusive. I want to break that chain of exclusivity and I want it to be so such that a middle-class man can afford to eat natural vegetables at the same price as the chemical vegetables. My whole idea is about creating awareness through community farming. People in Mumbai, definitely, see the result of eating all this. We saw in Corona, how our immunity is affected and everything is related to what we put inside our system, inside our body to make our body work. It’s not about one person or 100 people, it’s about everyone because food is the essence, food is life. So, you cannot avoid life and be alive. If Mumbaikars become aware, they will start eating natural, then the local farmers will be forced to grow naturally rather than putting too many chemicals, which any which way costs them a lot. Not only costs them financially but over the period, they are ruining the soil. The organic content in the soil to grow any food is dropping drastically, which can lead to desertification within the next 10 years. The soil will change into sand and then you won’t be able to grow, one crop also”.
He also explained that being an actor, it is very helpful and much more easier for him to influence people. Focusing on this point, he said, “Being an actor, definitely the approach becomes easy when I’m trying to tell people that I’m doing it, they know that I don’t have any vested interest in it. And I’m more particular about keeping the soil healthy and keeping nature secure, rather than just exploiting the land and the farmers and everyone for my own benefit. As an actor, I am working and, you know, my needs are taken care of by my profession of being an actor. Definitely, there has to be some purpose, before you jump into certain things like this. So being an actor, definitely, I am going to influence people. At least, it will bring something in notice, people will notice that something like this is happening in the market. Definitely, it might take time, but at least people will get to know”.
The actor is very confident about the fact that once the Mumbaikars understand this concept, they will also want to come on board for the same. Elucidating on the same, he told, “The challenge is not about Mumbai city, the challenge is always very individual-based. I mean, people should believe in what we are trying to do. The challenge is to ask them, and convince them that, you know, rather than spending two lakh rupees in hospitals or getting yourself insured for 25,000 rupees or 30,000, if you just ensure what you’re eating, and you spend a little bit more than what you have been spending, you can just avoid spending two lakh rupees of getting yourself hospitalized or falling sick or getting some kind of allergy or have immunity-based problems”.
He also added this bit, “If everyone holds a piece of 1500 thousand square feet area for themselves, and then they grow vegetables they like to eat, they’re sorted. It’s going to cost them the same because average middle-class people spend around six to 8000 rupees per month for vegetables. Here we are trying to bring that to this community farming to that level. I mean you can have a right to go to the farm and also tell your children that this dhania looks in seed form. This is how the gajar looks. This is how capsicum looks. They get to interact with the soil and they will create some kind of curiosity and believe you me, it’s not one lifetime. It’s a generational work that if I sowed the seed, let my children have the fruit. So that’s where this idea is taking me to”.
Speaking about the same, Rajesh has already started working towards it and in a parting note, he also said, “I have acquired the land on rent itself. And we have started making plots. We have already given it to 10 people and in fact I’m looking out that in my first leg 25 people are involved. So, I’m in search of those 25 good people, who are like-minded and can be part of it. I hope many more will come, let’s start with 25 and then let 25 multiply into 250 million. You’ll never know. I’m hopeful about that everyone should be conscious about what they’re eating”.
He spilled the beans about it and quipped, “I have discussed with a lot of my friends, a lot of colleagues and definitely everyone is excited about it. Many of them will definitely join in. I’m just hoping by the end of this month we’ll have a good bunch of people who will be committed towards this kind of concept and let’s see”.