The incredible story of Sangita Pingle, a farmer from Nashik, who rebuilt herself after losing her husband and child by taking up farming, despite doubts that it was not a woman’s profession
“I was told that a lady cannot farm, so I will never succeed. I wanted to prove them wrong,” says Sangita Pingale, a farmer from Matori village in Nashik.
Sangita lost her second child due to birth complications in 2004, and she lost her husband in 2007 in a road accident. She was devastated. And for ten years her father-in-law and relatives supported her. But in 2017 the joint family dispersed due to family feuds, and Sangita started living with her in-laws and her children. Another tragedy struck when two months later, her father-in-law passed away due to illness. People who always supported her were now gone.
But not only this, Sangita was left as the sole heir to the 13-acre farm which was previously managed by her father-in-law. “The farm was our only source of income, so I had to learn how to start working in the field. Relatives who had separated from us a few months earlier claimed that it would be difficult as a single woman to manage children, household chores, and farming. They claimed it is not a woman’s field and that it is easier said than done,” Sangita says.
But today, Sangita has proven her critics wrong by successfully growing grapes and tomatoes on her 13-acre land, which yields tonnes of produce and earns her lakhs.
Sangita says she took money on loan in exchange for her jewellery, and also borrowed money from cousins to raise capital for farming. Her brothers guided her through various aspects of farming. Sangita started developing vineyard plots over the years, facing innumerable challenges. She had to learn to do even the things that are mainly done by men, like driving a tractor. She even had to repair the tractor by herself.
Slowly but steadily, Sangita’s farm took shape, which today produces a yield of 800-1,000 tonnes of grapes per year, earning her Rs 25-30 lakh. She says she is proud that she could prove herself to those who doubted her and remains humble. “I believe I am still learning and have to root myself deeper in the field,” she says.
Credits: The Better India
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