An organic farmer by chance, this woman now helps connect other farmers directly to consumers
It was one weekend that changed her life and Purvi Vyas, a Masters in Environmental Management from Australia’s Western Sydney University, turned into a full-time organic farmer. She is now preparing the next generation of farmers and youngsters to adopt a sustainable lifestyle.
After finishing her masters in 1999, Purvi came back to India and started working for several NGOs for sustainability and development. It was in 2002 when she joined the famous Environmentalist Bina Agrawal to work on one of her research projects that Purvi happened to get her first brush with the farming community. The research took her to a small tribal area of Netrang and Dediyapada in south Gujarat.
She was surprised to know that these illiterate women had all the knowledge of the plants and the trees available in the jungle. They knew what plants has medicinal values and what should be consumed for a particular disease or illness.
“Even the kids knew about these plants so well! It was an eye opener for me that I was an educated ignorant and so are most of us in the cities. These people were living a much healthier life than us and on the other hand, I observed a huge gap between what people were saying about the environment and how they were actually living their lives in the cities, including me. This paradox made me unhappy and I was constantly looking for a way to implement what I was saying,” she says.
Purvi had no clue that just a weekend a couple of weeks later would give answers to all her questions.
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