An elderly farmer couple in Jodhpur is spending their entire life’s savings to provide rations to the needy during the current COVID19 crisis. The couple Munny Devi, 63 and Paburam Manda, 65, residents of Ummed Nagar in Osian of Jodhpur has set a target of distributing ration kits to 6000 families in nearby villages. The cost of these rations will be Rs 48 lakh. Rations have already been distributed to around 1500 families. The large heartedness of the farmer family comes as a heartening sight in times when the only conversation around farmers is limited to providing them relief.
Speaking to FPJ Paburam Manda said, “Farmers are the strength of our country. We can deal with adversities and provide outputs even when the resources are less. A farmer stands up for the country just as the Army does. Today is a time when my country needs me and I need to do the best I can.”
His wife Munny Devi has a very simple logic for giving away their entire savings, “We will earn more if we live. The challenge today is that people do not die either to the disease or to hunger. We all need to contribute.”
The Manda family grows crops like cumin, onions, garlic, wheat and bajra. Weather is a major factor in deciding the fate of the farmer. The recent unseasonal rains and hailstorms have inflicted huge losses to the farmers. But ignoring the uncertainties of a successful crop, Paburam held consultations with his two sons and they agreed to their father’s wish.
The ration kits contain 10 kg flour, 1 kg pulses, 1 kg oil, biscuits, soap and spices. Each kit is priced at approximately Rs 800 rupees each and the family will spend Rs 48 lakh for the 6000 ration kits.
“The ration kits are loaded in small truck and daily our volunteers distribute them in villages of Osian and Tinwari tehsil of Jodhpur district. My father wants that no poor should go hungry and we will try our best to ensure this,” said Ramniwas Manda, the elder son of Paburam.
Seeing their efforts, friends have offered to contribute to the cause, but Paburam says he will accept the help if there is need even after his funds are used up. While the country is applauding medical workers as Corona Warriors, it is people like Paburam and his family who qualify for the title.