Realising that their parents have been struggling to raise money to run the family, two young girls in Kerala have taken up farming to fund their daily expenses and schooling.
For the last six years, sisters Sivapriya J S and Haripriya J S of Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram have been cultivating vegetables on 80 cent land which three local residents have given to them for free for farming.
“I was in fourth standard when we started cultivating vegetables. We started with spinach and later added other vegetables. We have been raising money to meet our daily expenses and schooling from vegetable cultivation,” Haripriya told “Open Digest”.
The duo cultivate all sorts of vegetables like legumes, snake gourd, cauliflower, cucumber, cabbage and tomato using organic manure. People from nearby areas regularly visit their farm to buy fresh vegetables.
“We get regular customers because they know that we don’t use any chemical fertilisers or pesticides,” Haripriya said. While Haripriya is now in tenth standard, her elder Sivapriya is studying in Plus Two. Both of them will resume farming after their final term examinations.
The sisters decided to do farming after they realised that their father Jayaprasad and mother Sajitha, both daily wage labourers, were struggling to run the family. “We wanted to help our parents. Father taught us how to plant seeds and water the plants. So we approached our neighbours requesting whether they would give their unused land for farming. They readily agreed. We give a part of our yield from farming to them,” they said.
The two sisters have become a role model for other students in their school and have won praise from their teachers and local residents for doing farming to support their family.