K'taka: Ashram extends helping hand to pumpkin growers

Karnataka: Ashram extends a helping hand to pumpkin growers

Sweet pumpkins directly purchased from farmers in Hassan district. DH Photo

A thoughtful gesture by Ramakrishna Sharadashrama of Ponnampet is being appreciated by people for providing support to vegetable growers as well as people in need of vegetables. 

As vegetable growers at Haranahalli and Chennangihalli of Hassan district are in distress due to the lockdown imposed in the wake of COVID-19, Swami Bodhaswaroopananda Maharaj of the Ashram came up with an idea to purchase about 13 tonnes of sweet pumpkin directly from the growers and distribute the vegetables among the needy, free of cost.

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The seer's initiative created a win-win situation for the vegetable growers and the people who need vegetables. The vegetable growers in Hassan district said they had thought they will discard the vegetables. "The Ashram has come to our help," they said.

Following the Covid-19 lockdown, the Ashram is providing food kits to daily wage workers, autorickshaw and rental jeep drivers, plantation labourers, barbers, photographers, hotel workers and other people of the unorganised sector. Around 350 autorickshaw drivers in Madikeri have also been given sanitisers.

Swami Bodhaswaroopananda Maharaj said, "In Hassan district, vegetable growers were forced to discard their produce, especially sweet pumpkins which were cultivated in huge quantities. Therefore, the Ashram decided to purchase the pumpkins. The purchasing cost for each kg of pumpkin was Rs 3. Adding the transportation cost, the rate comes up to Rs 4 for each pumpkin. Every needy person has been given a pumpkin weighing 4 to 5 kg."

Autorickshaw Drivers' Association president Medappa said that the food kits, distributed by Ramakrishna Sharadashrama, have been supporting the families of the autorickshaw drivers.

The Ashram had earlier extended timely assistance to those affected by the floods in 2018 and 2019 in the district.