“Even the impossible can be achieved if you are willing to give it all you have.” The story of Mandabai Jairam Pekhale is a standing testimony to this powerful statement. With her determination and commitment, Mandabai turned a barren land into a blossoming farm.
A responsible and obedient child, Mandabai had to take up the responsibility of her younger siblings soon after she lost her mother to TB. Soon, she got married to Jairam Pekhale from Odha and started a new chapter in her life’s journey.
Mandabai became a part of a big family with thirty-five members and six brothers-in-law. Hardships hadn’t left her side even after marriage as making ends meet was challenging. Her husband worked in the MSEB and his income was hardly enough to take care of her and their four children. Mandabai and her husband inherited 2.5 acres of land from their family after separation. But it was not suitable for farming so generating any income from this land was not easy. Not giving up on the circumstances, Mandabai decided to grow a vineyard on this land. A lot of people discouraged Mandabai and tried to talk her out of her decision. But she was committed to making it happen no matter what.
The first challenge was to make the land fertile enough for farming. Rocky land, weeds, no source of electricity, and lack of water were a few of the make hurdles that came Mandabai’s way. She didn’t have the manpower or the capital for this but that didn’t shake Mandabai’s determination. She started cleaning the weeds from the land with the help of her children. After several days of hard work, the land soon became fertile enough to start farming activities.
The vineyard was soon set up, but the problem of water and electricity shortages often caused problems. Many times, they had to fetch water from distant places and connect to neighbouring farms for electricity to make the sprinklers work. They did not have the capital to buy the proper farming equipment so most of the work was done manually. But all their hard work paid off when they made a profit of three lakh rupees from the vineyard. This was a major milestone for Mandabai and her family which encouraged them to continue with farming. Soon the income from the farm improved their lifestyle and they were also able to buy new equipment and a tractor for the farm. Her farm was flourishing so well that in 2009 Mandabai brought an additional one acre of land with the help of her revenue.
Mandabai became a part of the Sahiyadri family in 2023 and added manifolds to her success story. She has grown her production and now plans to venture into exporting grapes. Initially, Mandabai cultivated Thomson and Manikachaman in her vineyard and now she has started cultivating Arra-15 variety grapes in her farm. Her determination in the face of hardships and challenges has helped her today harvest the fruits of success and give her family a happy life. Mandabai’s story is not just an inspiration to her children but also to all farmers who daily work hard in the field.