Rahul visits family of late Dalit farmer-scientist

Rahul visits family of late Dalit farmer-scientist

 Congress President Rahul Gandhi pays homage to late Dadaji Ramaji Khobragade, who passed away on June 4, at his village in Chandrapur on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Khobragade invented the HMT rice, a highly successful rice variety which yielded 80 percent more rice than the conventional variety. (PTI Photo)

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday visited the family of the late Dalit farmer-scientist Dadaji Ramaji Khobragade, who passed away recently.

Khobragade belonged to a little forest village of Nanded in Nagbhid village of Chandrapur district of Maharashtra.

Khobragade passed away on June 3, 2018. He is credited with developing 11 high-yielding varieties of paddy, named HMT, after the watch that he always had on his wrist.

“Dadaji Khobragade, a Dalit farmer-scientist, invented the revolutionary HMT variety of paddy. But he died largely forgotten and in penury. I visited his home in Nanded, Maharashtra, to condole with his family and to apologise for our apathy as a nation, to his achievement,” Rahul tweeted along with photos of the visit.

Rahul was accompanied by Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot. They interacted with the family of the rural-inventor.

Khobragade was named in the Forbes list of top seven rural entrepreneurs in 2010. Despite his innovation, Khobragade lived a poor and mostly neglected life.

The National Innovation Foundation (NIF) recognised his work in 2003-04 and the Maharashtra government gave him the Krishi Bhushan and Krishi Ratna awards for his innovations.