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This Punjab Farmer Has Found a Unique Solution to Battle Pollution

Gurbachan Singh has requested the government to increase the availability of such machines and strictly implement the laws against stubble burning, besides create awareness.

Ramlal Kondal |

Updated:October 11, 2018, 12:00 AM IST
Chandigarh: It’s that time of the year again when the skies of Delhi and the other northern plains would be full of specks of dust owing to the stubble burning in the adjoining states. A Punjab farmer has taken note.

Gurbachan Singh, a resident of Burj Deva Singh Wala village, put forth a rather unusual condition while marrying off his daughter. He asked his daughter’s would-be in-laws to promise that they won’t burn paddy stubble ever.

“I talked to my daughter’s would-be in-laws on the phone that if we want the marriage to go ahead, they would have to practice farming like us,” said Gurbachan Singh.

Farmers here have been practising farming with minimum or no use of fertilizers and pesticides. In 2008, a co-operative society was formed in the village, which procured a Happy Seeder machine that removes the paddy stubble, sows wheat into the bare soil, and deposits the straw over the sown area as mulch.

Since then, a majority of farmers in the village have stopped paddy burning and have been using the machine to get rid of the paddy residue. The result: a good and chemical-free harvest.

“Earlier I used to burn paddy stubble but then realized I was not only harming the environment but the process was also affecting soil fertility,” said Singh, who has been practising farming for the 30 years.

He also decided to gift his son-in-law a Happy Seeder machine to help him “save money on fuel and also save the environment”.

“People say beti bachao. I say, ‘beti ka baap bachao (save the father of the daughter)’. If the father comes under debt, how will he care for his daughter? If he is prosperous, his daughters will be too,” he added.

On learning about Gurbachan Singh’s resolve, Tarn Taran Deputy Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Sabarwal visited his place and lauded his efforts. He said, “Efforts of people like Gurbachan Singh deserve an applause. They are our flag-bearers in our campaign to weed out the practice stubble burning.”

Meanwhile, Gurbachan has requested the government to increase the availability of such machines and strictly implement the laws against stubble burning, besides create awareness.
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