India is a land of villages. A majority of her population lives in villages. Most of them are farmers. Agriculture is their main occupation. They work on the fields that are around the village. Indian economy is an agricultural one. So the importance of the farmers is very great. Let us here examine, in brief, the life of an Indian farmer.
An Indian farmer is very hard working. He gets up early in the morning, takes his plough, and with his cattle goes to his field even before it is full daylight. He works there all day without caring for the hardships of weather. Winter, summer or rains, it is all the same for him. We find him working on his field sowing, ploughing or reaping in biting cold as well as in the hot winds of summer.
He work ceaselessly till noon, when his wife or children bring for him his mid-day meal. He takes it under the shade of some tree. Having eaten his meager food and having washed it down with a glass of mutha or the cool water of a flowing brook or well, he again resumes his work. Often he sings a song to break the monotony of his hard labour.
It is only with the approach of darkness that he returns home. At the door of his humble cottage, he is greeted by his children, some young and some a bit grown up. Then he rests a while and smokes his hukka. This is the happiest time of the day for him. Now he is the king of his humble cottage. After taking his meal, he goes to the village chopal. There he smokes and chats with his fellow farmers, who like him come there fore recreation. Many are the jokes that are cut and the stories that are narrated. In this way, having passed an hour or two in laughing and talking, he returns home for his well earned rest.
Such is a typical day in the life of an Indian farmer. His life is full of difficulties. In spite of his hard labour, he lives of extreme poverty. he is ‘born in debt , lives in debt and dies in debt’. His crops are at the mercy of rains. Famines or floods often take away the fruits if his hard labour. Still he is contended and God fearing. When he falls ill, he finds that there are no medical faculties for his treatment. Often he dies untreated and uncared for. There are also only a few schools for the education of his children. The mud huts in which he lives often fall down during rain and his humble belongings are all ruined. Pucca house are rare. We, who live in the cities, cannot even imagine the hardship of his life.
But this is only one side of the picture. The life of the Indian farmer has a brighter side also. He enjoys fresh air and sunshine, the two great blessings of God. He gets more wholesome food than those who lives in the cities. He still enjoys pure milk and dhee which are not to be found in cities. Moreover, the villages are sympathetic and extend greater co-operation to each other in times of distress. Such fellow-feeling and brotherhood are now heard of the city, where even the next door neighbors don’t know each other.
A number of reforms are needed to make the life of the farmer, happiest and healthier. It is a good sign that the government is giving its utmost attention to the problem. Various programmes of villages uplift have been taken in hand. Through scientific methods of agriculture, poverty is being removed. The prosperity of the farmer means the prosperity of the nation. In the near future his condition would surely improve.
The ‘Jawahar Rozgar Yojna‘ was launched to improve the conditions of life of the life of the rural poor. ‘Panchayati Raj‘ seeks to give power to the people to work out their own destiny. The central government promised that the loans of the farmer upto Rs 10,000/- would be waived. The life of an Indian farmer should be healthy, happy and prosperous. He would no longer be in debt, and at present, but would walk with his head raised high. He would be an entirely new man. Good quality seeds, fertilizers and pesticides are already being provided to him. Tractors has now become a common sight. More and more improvements are daily taking place. His future is bright !