Others would have made a fast buck but this farmer prefers to help cattle

The drought has presented an opportunity to make money.

Kalaburagi: To unscrupulous middlemen and others preying on the misery of farmers, the drought has presented an opportunity to make money. But one man has proved that humanity is not lost. Sacrificing his own interests and limiting his cultivation , a farmer in a nondescript village of Chittapur taluk , Kalaburagi district has built a huge pond on his fields for providing precious water to thousands of cattle and other animals free of cost.

Saibanna Manegar of Mallappanahalli, a small farmer with about 10 acres of land to his name, has done this expecting neither thanks nor recognition. He decided to build the pond on his farm after he saw cattle, goat, sheep and other animals trudging for miles in search of water and some even dying for want of it over the last few years. Using his hard earned money, Saibanna sank borewells on his fields and laid a 200 meter pipeline to take the water from them to the pond, where farmers now flock with their cattle and sheep as there is no water elsewhere in the region.

With an ancient tank in a nearby village, which was a major source of drinking water for both farmers and their cattle for many years, drying up in the absence of adequate rain, Saibanna's pond has emerged as a lifesaver. Farmers of Mallappanahalli and surrounding villages are filled with gratitude to him for his selfless giving. "The situation this year is so horrible that but for the initiative taken by Saibanna, many cattle, goat and sheep would have either perished or been sold by their panic-stricken owners," says Basavarajja of the village.

Even more remarkable is the fact that Saibanna has curtailed his own cultivation to provide water to others in need. "Of the four borewells I sank on my land, only two are now yielding water due to the depletion of the groundwater table. Had I cultivated all my land there would not have been enough water to fill the pond. So I have cultivated only about three acres," he explains nonchalantly, showing little awareness of the sacrifice he has made .

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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