There is a common perception that the present-day youth are spendthrifts, party addicts and pub-goers. Meet ‘weekend farmers’, you are likely to bid good riddance to this view. This group, comprising techies, doctors and entrepreneurs, have enthusiastically entered the field of agriculture at a time when thousands are abandoning it for urban jobs.
After spending weekdays with the multinational companies that pay them lucratively, they loosen up in the company of farmers, offering them free assistance. Last week, the group spend their weekend in a farm in Dharmapuri.
“This team was formed nine months back after Harish Sreenivasan, an engineer, put forth the idea. The social media helped us a lot; now the team has more than 40 active members. We have already visited nine villages, serving nearly 50 farmers.
"All our earlier visits were to farms located within 150-km radius from Chennai, as we all work there. Dharmapuri is the farthest place we have visited so far,” A Tamil Selvan, a 23-year-old mechanical engineer, told Express even as he was carrying organic fertilizers in his hand to the field.
Tamil Selvan belongs to Pattukottai in Thanjavur district. “Once, Pattukottai was a serene area in delta region. However, successive monsoon failure and shortage of farm hands have forced farmers leave the vocation; my family too is one such.
A few years ago, I settled at Chromepet in Chennai with my family. Despite enjoying a nice package, I found it difficult to resist the farmer in me. After several youth in white-collar jobs expressed similar wish, we formed a team and started spending weekends with farmers in different places,” he said.