Aspirations of a young farmer

If I ever get Rs. 20,000, I will buy myself half an acre of wet land and build a nice house. On my land I will plant sugarcane; cultivation with care and the use of chemical fertiliser should be able to produce twenty-five tons of cane. This would give me an income of Rs. 4,000, of which I should be able to save Rs. 2,000 after deducting all the cultivation costs. If I continue to work hard, then in about five to six years I should be able to save Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 12,000. Then I can buy many more acres of wet land and become one of the rich peasants of Dalena.

However, since I neither have Rs. 20,000 nor own a great deal of land nor have the benefit of an education, it is my ambition that my children should go to school and college. I want one of my sons to become a lawyer and the other a doctor. While in school, my sons will be able to enjoy life just as much as the other school-going boys of their age group in Dalena do. I will give them pocket money, buy new clothes for them, give them good food and buy all their books and stationery. Unlike me, my sons will not graze cattle, perform agricultural labour or carry cow-dung. Their life will be easier than mine.

I am uneducated and poor, therefore I know that I have to work hard for my living; there is no escape from manual work for me. I have to be content with giving just a wedding pendant to my wife, instead of gold jewellery and expensive clothes. Nevertheless, I hope I can give my children a better life.

-- A sixteen year old marginal peasant youth
from Dalena village in Mandya, Karnataka.

source: "Education and Rural Development" by Sudha V Rao (p. 57-58)