Mocked For Leaving Govt Job to Farm Pearls, Bihar Man Now Finds National Acclaim
“In India people think that a good job is the highest reward education can provide. And so when I, despite having a postgraduate degree in Chemistry, decided to pursue farming, many were shocked. For them, farming was menial work and they would mock me saying- ‘padhe farsi beche tel’,” shares 52-year-old Jaishankar Kumar, from Bihar who today is an early exponent of freshwater pearl farming with 11 years of experience.
Born and brought up in Tetari village, Begusarai, Jaisankar has created a unique symbiotic model of ecological farming in a 1.5 bigha land, with pearl farming complimenting a fishery, organic vegetables and fruits farming, medicinal and herb vertical garden , poultry, vermicompost and biogas production. He claims that a sustainable farm like his can be set up in a land less than 1 acre and can reap profits from several avenues- a lucrative model for all farmers in the state.
What was once mocked and ignored by villagers, today has found national recognition, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned Jaishankar’s name and his innovative farming techniques especially for pearls during his Mann Ki Baat address last week. After 11 years of hard work, Jaishankar is finally getting his due recognition.
“I was never bothered by the negative comments people said about me and my career choices. But, it’s obviously a welcome change to be recognized on such a big platform. I just hope that this will bring the nation’s attention to the wonders of pearl farming and how it has the potential to change the dynamics of agriculture in India,” he says.