JalTara - Blog

Balasaheb Lomte: Defying all odds to farm his way through!

By: Art of Living-Social Projects on 02nd March 2023

Excitement to know more about the journey began right from the moment we met Balasaheb Lomte. It was set in Warud village in Jalna district, where Balasaheb Lomte took farming as his profession. Water scarcity in Maharashtra was a big obstacle for farmers. It mattered much to Balasaheb as farming was all he could do. His crop yield had gradually declined due to unpredictable weather conditions. The lack of water scarcity solutions had worsened the cause, and all his efforts were in vain. On one side, Balasaheb was struggling with crop yield. At the same time, on the other hand, the household income of a family of five members was utterly dependent on his eldest son, 24 years of age, working in a factory as a labourer in a town nearby. The family was managing a livelihood this way when suddenly, some unforeseen omen hit them.

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Things took a turn for the worse when his son passed away in an accident while on his way home for the Diwali celebration. The festival of lights turned into complete darkness in Balasaheb’s life. Losing one’s son untimely is definitely a huge emotional blow. Hammered by fate, Balasaheb was distraught about how he would care for his family, let alone the burden of losing a young son. With the tide against him, Balasaheb would not give up easily. Not understanding the causes of drought or waterlogging, Balasaheb Lomte set out to his fields.

Numerous farmers suffer because of the water crisis in India. Balasaheb Lomte was not only among the victims but also lacked funds for farming resulting in the entire family living critically. They were facing difficulty in making ends meet.

JalTara worked like magic for Balasaheb

At this juncture, the JalTara project by the Art of Living made its way into Balasaheb’s life. The Art of Living JalTara Sevaks encouraged Balasaheb to construct the recharge structures on his farm. The move brought immense changes for him, as he saw an increased groundwater level, which positively impacted the crop output, reduced crop spoilage, and raised his income doubled in time.

Balasaheb now cultivated a variety of products on his land without being totally dependent on rainwater. Water scarcity management facilitated by the recharge structures brought in by JalTara worked as a boon for him.

JalTara has emerged as a very efficient water conservation project in India that helps in groundwater recharge, thus making it feasible for the farmers in rural areas across the country to cultivate crops and make the most out of their land, thereby increasing their produce and income.

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Balasaheb’s fight full of courage and resilience

Balasaheb happily shared that, with a production of 5 quintals of soybean, 3 quintals of jowar and cotton, and many more crops, he was back on track with his farming practices and could readily provide for his family.

In his words, “Our village’s water situation deteriorated after the rains because the mud was everywhere. We needed more water to grow crops. After JalTara project implementation, the situation has improved as all the rainwater goes into recharge structures. Now there is no mud, and water levels have risen.”

JalTara cannot make up for Balasaheb for his lost son. Still, implementing this technique of building recharge structures has indeed brought financial security to Balasaheb and his family. It has emerged as one of the prominent water scarcity solutions and has helped many farmers across various villages with better crop yields. JalTara aims to reach 100,000 villages and build five million pits over five years. The objective is to eliminate India's water crisis through JalTara, the water recharge structures.

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Hats off to Balasaheb, who has fought dire circumstances like a warrior, with a grief-stricken heart but a smile on his face. Well, his smile now seems to be permanently back, courtesy JalTara.

Balasaheb Lomte is a source of inspiration to farmers and all those skilled in their profession, giving them the courage not to give up and keep searching for the right source or direction, just as he got from The Art of Living JalTara.