An engineer by profession, Ganpat Krishna Yadav could have held on to a lucrative job. Instead, he chose to set up an organic farm in Jaipur with the focused intention of providing employment opportunities to beggars.
Ganpat Krishna Yadav of Mundru Cholai village in Sikat district of Rajasthan was just 13 years old when he heard his father and uncles discussing that they were in big trouble. They lived as a joint family, all members dependent on the earnings from their ancestral land. Now, however, the reducing water level had been making the land infertile. To bring about a turnaround, they invested all their savings in a tube well. Unfortunately, the plan failed.
Eventually the men of the family had to per force migrate to cities to work as labourers and the children were left behind to take care of the cattle and the farm, some of whom worked in the local groundnut mill to eke out extra earnings.
For the young Ganpat, all this had been a heart-wrenching experience, especially when he was witness to farmers reduced to begging to feed their families.
This is precisely when the thought of doing something for beggars crossed Ganpat’s mind for the first time. At that time, however, he focused on his studies. But the thought of starting a venture that would provide employment to those forced to seek alms never left him.
Those were tough days then. He would attend school, work in the groundnut mill, and graze the cattle in the evening, catching up with his studies in the night. Never though did all this pressure get to him. In fact, he cleared his Class X examination with a merit position at No. 2 on the district level and No. 14 at the state level.
When one of his relatives from Jaipur came to know about this achievement, he took Ganpat under his wings and encouraged him to study further. The determination and efforts paid rich dividends once again with him bagging the 18th position on the merit list in the Class XII examination and obtaining admission in the prestigious Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT), Jaipur. His roots, however, he never forgot.
Whenever he would get the time, Ganpat would return to his village, sparing several hours to provide career counselling to the children in his and neighboring villages.
More so, with his newly acquired engineering skills, he made a gadget to ensure the safety of women.
In 2013, Ganpat graduated with an engineering degree in Metallurgy and Material Science and was placed in a reputed company through campus recruitment.
“I actually wanted to start off as an entrepreneur but I had an education loan to repay. And my parents wanted me to get financially sound first,” he says.
However, with the spirit of social reformation burning within him, he never let go of the idea of providing opportunities to beggars. An organic farm, he thought, would be a good project to do so. This jotting down of ideas and the grand plan took the shape of a book.
The book titled ‘Raj Tilak’ was published in 2015. It also had details about the gadget that he had invented.
In its wake, a Noida-based company got interested in the gadget and decided to invest in it. Ganpat quit his job in 2015 to help the company make the gadget. Unfortunately, the company backed out and Ganpat was left high and dry. To raise enough funds to go on, he started searching for another job and during this time, in one of the recruitment interviews, he mentioned his dream of setting up a company to employ beggars.
To his surprise, one of the interviewers not only asked him to pursue his passion but also agreed to invest in his start-up. And that is how the foundation was laid for Triveni Krishna Organics Private Ltd.
He took a farm on lease and started organic farming of groundnut, lentils, wheat, millets and carrot.
He then started locating beggars at the Jaipur Railway Station, footpaths and outside the temples to counsel them and prompt them to take to farming.
“Initially it was difficult to convince them to join me since many of them were quite comfortable begging for their living. It was painful to see their condition, especially the children and women. Many young girls would become rape victims. The parents were not interested in sending the children to school since that would cut down on their income,” Ganpat narrates.
Despite the initial resistance though, Ganpat persevered, and finally found some success.
“They would come with me, get trained and work too. But soon they would realize that they could earn more by begging and therefore run away. But I never let my spirits down and eventually managed to put up a team of about 100 beggars to work on the farm. New recruits and dropouts was a regular feature of this process,” he says.
To resolve the problem, he registered an organisation called Krishna Bhaiya Foundation to work on counselling the beggars.
He requested people to donate money to this organisation instead giving alms to beggars and asked them to advise the beggars about why working was better in the long run.
Ironically, today, Ganpat’s organic farm’s yield is ready but he is finding it hard to sell the produce. That’s because the government gives an organic certificate only after the third year of the yield. Therefore, if you would like to chip in and help Ganpat in his efforts through buying any of his products or helping a beggar find a job, you can call him on 9785336749 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.