The Times of India | Abdullah Nurullah | March 3, 2016 | Engineers to pedal, push for traditional farming methods
CHENNAI: Two city engineers who gave up the cushy confines of their IT offices to take up farming have planned to cycle across villages of India next month, with the goal of accumulating knowledge about traditional farming methods that have lost significance since the rise of chemical farming. The second phase of the cycle expedition will see the two farmers travel through eleven countries in southeast Asia. Vinodh Kumar, 31, and Raja S Pandian, 27, left their jobs two years ago and have since been ploughing the fields in their hometown with a focus of bringing back traditional farming. Vinoth says, “Chemical fertilisers and pesticides have brought down the quality of farming output. We want to revive the traditional crops.” Vinoth grows millets and local vegetables like ladies’ finger, brinjal and broad beans in his one and a half acre organic farm in Cheyyur, 90 km from Chennai.
“We were exposed to farming during our school summer holidays. After school closed, we were sent to the fields in our village where we herded cattle and spent the day under the sun in the banana plantations,” says Raja.Raja hails from Valliyur, a village near Tirunelveli, while Vinoth is from Cheyyur. Vinodh who had worked at companies like Zoho, Standard Chartered Bank and Groupon gave up engineering when he realized his true calling.Vinoth, along with Raja, took two years off and backpacked across the villages in the country covering almost every single state. “I made more money than I had time to spend it,” says Vinoth who chose health over wealth. “Our food habits have gotten worse. Once health deteriorates you cannot buy it back with money,” adds Vinoth who passed out of SRM Engineering College. It then directed the owners to pay `10 lakh as compensation for causing men al agony , `3 lakh as losses suffered by Natesan, ` 35,000 as refund and `Rs 20,000 as case costs. – Courtesy