Organic Farming : Torch Bearer

Who is the Person Behind the Organic Initiative by Oasis?

 

Mehul Panchal

Agriculture Co-ordinator, Oasis Valleys, Chanod

On 21st February, 2010, Mehul Panchal, Organic Farming Coordinator at Oasis Valleys, was felicitated for his work in Organic Farming in a program called "લઘુ પ્રકૃતિ દરબાર" organized jointly by પર્યાવરણ અને સંસ્કૃતિ રક્ષક ટ્રસ્ટ, અમરેલી and Srushti, Ahmedabad at Shinor town, near Vadodara.

 

All who have visited Oasis Valleys know Mehul Panchal. A seeming calm looking guy has gone through an ocean of emotions and has crossed mountains of struggles within his heart, unknown even to his near and dear ones. He is a walking demonstration of how one can sculpt one’s life given some encouragement and support system.

 

Mehul is an Electronics Engineer by qualification. He joined Oasis when he was yet doing his graduation. Attracted by the environment of friendship, he soon got involved in various activities and projects undertaken by Oasis. Regular self development sessions, camps, outings, social events etc brought out his self-confidence and creative side. By that time he completed his graduation, started his career as an engineer, in a short while he left job and got involved in the processes of becoming a social welfare entrepreneur at Oasis. He slowly started recognizing his love for nature and environment, which led him to the state of farmers and agriculture in our country. When Oasis thought of creating a model institute for nation-building, he chose to take up the project of organic farming.

 

What can be the stigma of being a farmer after having high educational qualifications, having opportunities of fat-cheque jobs or to go abroad, contemporary friends doing all these things? Against these emotional struggles, he was not in a position to prove himself quickly as organic farmer, as the name  suggest, is organic by nature and requires patience and values intact.

 

Years went by without any solace of “success”. Then he was facing an immense struggle between an urban upbringing and the need to give up that to be a successful farmer. In several low moments, he felt trapped in a strange situation- he wanted to give up and he didn’t want to give up. The death of his father when he was about to get control of life again pulled him down. Income aside, he had to invest from personal inheritance to pay off some loans. All these were immensely painful issues for him.

 

Mehul says, “The support of friends, who were all struggling to find their own mission, helped me. Many times I was tired, felt lonely and almost on the verge of giving up. But I am glad I survived. Today I have brought my farming at a level of break-even and am now confident to create prosperity in the long term. I may have paid some heavy price as an individual initially, but I am glad that I am in a position to guide thousands of farmers in my lifetime now. I have no regrets about quitting traditional career and choosing an unconventional lifestyle, as I am happily looking forward to be a part of big solution for my country as well as planet.”

 

Mehul has now started educating farmers in neighborhood as he has a model farm ready now.  He plans & conducts lot of events to now sensitize the future generations in coming years and decades. Write to him at mehul_oasis@yahoo.co.in. if you want to share your feelings about what he has done in his life or if you want to be partner in his mission.

 

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