Foodgrain bank by farmers in Bihar bails out the poor amid lockdown

A family is given 15 kg of foodgrain till its number comes another time. The foodgrains bank has got more than 1,000 quintals of grains.

Published: 18th April 2020 02:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th April 2020 10:55 AM   |  A+A-

Rana Ranjeet Singh (wearing hat) speaks with farmers who are members of the foodgrain bank. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

PATNA: In a first perhaps for the country, hundreds of farmers from Shahabad range in Bihar have come together and formed a foodgrain bank at Dumraon in Buxar district to feed migrants and labourers in the ongoing lockdown.

A family is given 15 kg of foodgrain till its number comes another time. The foodgrains bank has got more than 1,000 quintals of grains.

The brainchild of a well-off farmer, Rana Ranjeet Singh of Chamai village, the foodgrain bank started services on April 5.

“Initially I had to motivate the farmers of the locality. To begin with, 70 farmers came and joined with me for running the bank with the foodgrains donated by them,” Singh told this newspaper.

The Shahabad range is famous for the cultivation of foodgrains, including rice and wheat.

The foodgrains donated by farmers are kept at their homes and distributed free among the needy whenever they approach the bank for help.

“A norm was fixed by all the farmers, who are stakeholders of this bank, under which one can donate 1 kg to 50 kg of foodgrain. But many came and donated more than that quantity of foodgrain,” said Singh, who was sent to the US in 1969 as the best farmer of India.

“Impressed by the humanitarian initiative, nearly 700 farmers of Rohtas, Kaimur and Buxar districts have voluntarily become stakeholders of this bank and donated foodgrains in bulk quantity.”

The farmers keep gathering information from local sources about anyone facing hardships to help them with foodgrain.

“Now, my cellphone number is public so that migrants and labourers of any caste and creed can call for help,” Singh said.

Foodgrains are not kept at a single point as it would require transportation and farmers have to spare their time unnecessarily.

“Labourers can either directly go to farmers or are being referred by me to allot them grains donated to the bank.”People like Mangal Kumar, a labourer of Dumraon, is thankful to the farmers for bailing him out.

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