A farmer from Varanasi who won national acclaim for giving away free seeds to farmers across the country, is in despair, unable to meet the expenditure on his wife who lies in coma in hospital. After spending around Rs.4 lakh New Delhi, a bitter Prakash Singh Raghuvanshi is on his way back to Varanasi, with just one ray of hope.
The “Kisan Baba”, as he is widely known, says he believes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will respond to his plight and come to his wife’s rescue.
But right now, Raghuvanshi, in his 60s, is deeply disappointed. He had admitted his wife, Shakuntala Singh, on October 28 into a private hospital here after she went into coma at S.S. Hospital in Banaras Hindu University campus after a long treatment.
Apparently, doctors ended up injecting excessive calcium, leading to the coma.
After his wife failed to come out of coma in Varanasi, now Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, Raghuvanshi brought her to Delhi in the hope she will be cured.
“Till Thursday, I had paid the hospital around Rs.4 lakh. Now I can’t afford to pay more. So I am returning to Varanasi. I have been paying the hospital here Rs.50-60,000 daily,” the man told IANS.
“Some students of Thaper Engineering College of Chandigarh and one Yashpal Bansal have helped me a lot but it was not enough,” he added with a touch of despair.
Raghuvanshi is from village Tandiya, 20 km from Varanasi city. He has not only been developing a variety of seeds that produce more grains but providing them free of cost to farmers all over India.
Till now, more than 100,000 farmers have benefitted from his seeds.
“To treat my wife I had to sell her jewellery. How can I leave her in this condition? She has helped me in my mission for the last 30 years. If needed, I will sell my agricultural land too to save her,” he said.
But Raghuvanshi is annoyed over the government’s attitude to farmers.
“I am fed up. Governments do nothing for farmers. Farmers of this country will have to be self dependent.”
Raghuvanshi has 3.5 acre of agricultural land, which has been turned into a laboratory to develop new varieties of seeds. He promotes these among farmers.
He undertook a “Kisan Rath Yatra” in 2007, after buying a four-wheeler by taking a bank loan.
He travelled more than one lakh km across the country. His “rath” held small packets of seeds which were distributed to farmers for free.
It is this mission that fetched him the National Award for Innovation in Agriculture in 2009 from then President Pratibha Patil.
However, Raghuvanshi has not given up. He hopes — and prays — that Modi will somehow learn about his wife’s plight and come to their rescue.
“After reaching Varanasi, I will contact the PM’s Office. I hope at least they help me,” he told IANS.