Congress President Rahul Gandhi condoles Dalit scientist-farmer Dadaji Ramaji Khobragade's death, apologises for nation's apathy towards rice innovator

Gandhi paid tributes before a garlanded portrait of Khobragade at his home, where the walls are covered with several certificates, medals and honours for his lifetime contribution to agriculture.

Published: 13th June 2018 04:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th June 2018 06:33 PM   |  A+A-

Congress president Rahul Gandhi speaks during 'Chaupal pe Charcha' an interaction session with farmers at Nanded village in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra on Wednesday June 13 2018. | PTI

By IANS

NAGPUR: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday visited the family of late Dalit farmer-scientist Dadaji Ramaji Khobragade in Chandrapur, Maharashtra, and apologised for the nation's apathy to his achievements.

Gandhi paid tributes before a garlanded portrait of Khobragade at his home, where the walls are covered with several certificates, medals and honours for his lifetime contribution to agriculture.

"Dadaji Khobragade, a Dalit farmer-scientist, invented the revolutionary HMT variety of paddy. But he died largely forgotten and in penury. I visited his home to condole with his family and to apologise for our apathy as a nation to his achievements," Gandhi later tweeted.

The Congress chief, accompanied by other senior leaders like Ashok Chavan and Ashok Gehlot, interacted with Khobragade's widow and children.

Khobragade, who had suffered a paralytic stroke, barely had resources for proper medical treatment, though aid belatedly came from the Chief Minister's Office.

He died on June 3, at his native village of Nanded. During his lifetime, Khobragade was credited for developing 11 high-yielding varieties of paddy, named HMT, after the famed watch-making company whose timepiece he always wore.

The HMT varieties of paddy had revolutionised farming in entire Vidarbha region, but he never got due recognition or financial benefits of his pathbreaking scientific breakthroughs.

In 2010, Forbes named him among the top seven rural entrepreneurs globally, and was also awarded a medal of honour by the late Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Gandhi, who arrived here from Mumbai, is later scheduled to hold a "chaupal" (village meeting) with Nanded villagers before leaving for New Delhi after his two-day visit to he state.

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  • M.P.Muthusamy

    We as Indian to be of shoulder our proud to tribute to dalit agri scientist Gobargade for his invention of HMT paddy suited for Vidharth region.
    3 months ago reply