Amazing journey of a wheelchair bound farmer to receive Padma Shri Award – Meet Genabhai Dargabhai Patel
From being born with polio to receive Padma Shri Award, Genabhai Dargabhai Patel’s life’s story is awe-inspiring, with many roller coaster rides. Genabhai, who is popularly known as Anar dada was inspired by the ‘Krishi Mahotsav’ organised by Modi when he was the CM in 2003-04. Eventually he started pomegranate cultivation using drip irrigation systems.
I had started with five hectares of cultivation. Today, my pomegranate crop is covered in 12 hectares, said Genabhai Dargabhai Patel.
After travelling across Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra for about 3 months, Genabhai decided to grow pomegranate. He saw farmers in Maharashtra growing pomegranate in an almost similar climate as of Gujarat. He also found out that it needs less attention unlike other fruits. Genabhai brought 18,000 saplings in 2004 from Maharashtra and planted in his farm. His first order was sold at Rs 42 per kg.
Genabhai’s success with pomegranate cultivation has encouraged other farmers in the district to take up the crop for cultivation; now over 600 hectares is under pomegranate cultivation. Youngest among four brothers and one sister, Genabhai studied only up to class 12, since his illiterate parents had no clue on how to educate him further.
It is due to Genabhai’s efforts that the district’s pomegranates are now even exported to the countries like Dubai, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, giving the farmers excellent returns. Genabhai has been honoured with many state level as well as national level awards. On January 26, 2017, Genabhai Dargabhai Patel has been awarded with Padma Shri.