This Odisha woman distributes free vegetables in 15 villages during lockdown
BHUBANESWAR: Amid the gloom surrounding the unprecedented coronavirus crisis, there are people like Chhayarani Sahu who have become a beacon of hope by their acts of generosity and kindness.
The 57-year-old woman farmer of Kuruda village under Basudevpur block in Bhadrak district is distributing free vegetables to the rural populace who are reeling under the lockdown. So far, she has distributed more than 50 quintal of vegetables in at least 15 villages in five panchayats including Lunga, Brahmanigaon, Binayakpur and some wards in Basudevpur municipality. Chhayarani plans to continue the distribution during the rest of the lockdown period.
“The coronavirus outbreak has put the society’s values to test. In these times of crisis, people should look out for each other and put the interests of the wider community ahead of personal gains,” she said.“People are contributing to the Prime Minister and Chief Minister’s relief fund. Since I do not have cash in hand, I decided to contribute to the society by distributing vegetables from my farm among villagers. It gives me immense pleasure as people appreciate my endeavour and bless my children.”
Accompanied by a group of volunteers, Chhayarani moves around in a van with packets of vegetables which are distributed at the doorsteps of villagers. The packets contain brinjal, lady’s finger, tomato, green chili, onion, a piece of pumpkin and cucumber.
The mother of four - two daughters and as many sons - Chhayarani has been growing vegetables in her seven-acre farmland for the last two decades. She is also into dairy farming and rears 20 cows. Her husband Sarbeswar Sahu helps her in farming and runs a milk society.
Every year, the Sahu family earns more than `3 lakh from vegetable farming. This time, they could only manage to sell some of their produce worth `50,000 due to lack of demand in the local market following lockdown. “As traders wanted to procure our produce at a lower price, we decided to distribute the vegetables among the poor for free,” she said.
While Chhayarani’s daughters are married, her sons - Santosh and Manas along with volunteers Baikuntha Sahu and Rabindra Sahu are helping her in distribution of vegetables.
Chhayarani also distributed milk among the villagers and police personnel deployed in lockdown duty when the local dairy society was closed for a few days initially.
The locals have appreciated the noble deed of the Sahu family. “Her work during the coronavirus crisis is praiseworthy. This will encourage others to lend a helping hand and support each other,” said Sambit Mohanty, a local leader.