Sowing the seeds today to reap a new tomorrow

26 February 2021

The Covid-19 outbreak in 2020 had brought about unprecedented suffering and anxiety across the globe. The lockdown enforced followed by the widespread of this pandemic, shattered the businesses worldwide. This had caused grave impact on the street vendors and small time business workers in the matter of hours, leaving them with distressing uncertainties.

Everyday had become a battle for the human race to survive the economic impact of the pandemic. With the lockdown that lasted for several months, the low income group workers were facing hardships every now and then. The livelihood of the street vendors were thrown into turmoil, whose daily wage depends on being in public spaces. A 35-year-old Ravi Kumar from the tribal village of Chamba District in Himachal Pradesh was also among the millions of sufferers.


Hailing from Kuleth village in Bajoli Holi, where GMR Group's Hydro Power Project is located, Ravi used to run a small tea shop. He is survived by his old parents, wife and two children. Over the years, Ravi worked in several local shops as helper to balance his family income but could hardly meet the basic necessities.

Ravi, an undergraduate, could not pursue further studies due to dire economic conditions and family responsibilities. But no matter how tough the situation is, he never gave up on the situation. Only few months prior to the Covid crisis, Ravi owned a small tea stall at local market near Jabbal village. With the onset of the pandemic, his family was hit hard with financial crunches and could hardly arrange enough to feed a six-member family.

Support extended by GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF):

Few months back Ravi Kumar attended a community meeting organised by GMRVF Bajoli Holi at his village where Foundation motivated him to join Agriculture & Horticulture development program.

  • He was also linked with Foundation supported Kisan Suvidha Kendra where farmers avail facility of various modern & traditional agricultural tools and related information.
  • During June, 2020 Foundation team attended a meeting with Block Agriculture department and leveraged approx. 1200 sapling of hybrid variety vegetable plants to be distributed among marginalized farmers so that they can complement their income in Covid scenario.
  • Foundation motivated Ravi to start vegetable production along with his work.
  • Foundation provided Ravi Kumar approx. 250 saplings of brinjal, tomato & chili and inspired to buy few other vegetable saplings from market. Ravi planted these saplings on time along with other vegetable like cauliflower, cabbage, ladyfinger & beans and took good care of his nursery through Foundation's support.
  • Ravi was also added to Krishak Mitra Group, where farmers are linked with Krishi Vighyan Kendra (KVK), Agriculture & Horticulture expert through wattsapp Farmers can post their queries along with pictures and get expert response in time. KVK experts also share audio visual IEC related to vegetable crop management.
  • Foundation also provided fungicide pack to Ravi for management of plant disease and fungus.
  • During September, 2020- The harvest was ready and the Foundation team linked Ravi with local project mess where good amount of vegetables are required on daily basis. Ravi started providing vegetable to this mess and earned good amount. As discussed with Ravi during this season he sold vegetable costing approx. Rs.24000 and is still going on.

Foundation also requested all supported farmers to develop at least 50 saplings each after vegetable productions so that more farmers can be benefitted onwards. The farmers will provide the saplings to Foundation and then will be distributed to more farmers scaling the activity and production level from next season.

Today, Ravi has come a long way in becoming self-sufficient in taking care of his family needs. Ravi on sharing his views about the new business, says,

"I am thankful to Foundation for supporting me with saplings and motivating to start this business. I have earned very well with minimal investment. It has helped me a lot to complement my livelihood during present Covid-19 scenario as there is very less earning from my tea shop. Thanks GMRVF Team".