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Dr. Rajaram Tripathi : Leaving an imprint for a safer and better future

By Ajay Jha

Think of a farmer. The instant image that one conjures up is that of a weather-beaten man, battered by the vagaries of the weather and looking up to the skies to pray for rains or unseasonal rains to stop.Being dependent on loans and doles of the powers that be to eke out a living, they have always lived a marginal life.

Dr. Rajaram Tripathi also looks up to the skies, but only to thank the Almighty. He has emerged triumph by beating every possible odd that could come his way to demonstrate that one can be master of one’s destiny and to establish that farming can be a damn good vocation if done judiciously.

“Why shouldn’t a farmer drive a BMW?” is what he states. His fleet of 16 top-notch vehicles, some modified to ensure rains and the resultant mud do not stop his movement, says it all. And soon, he would be flying in his private helicopter too. On the other hand, are traditional farmers who find it tough to pay even EMIs of the tractor in time.

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Did he strike gold while farming? He did, but not the yellow metal. His gold is his organic herbals and aromatic plants which are certified and exported to several countries where authorities follow strict rules and norms.

Born in Kaknar, a tribal village in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh province, Rajaram focused on education, which was not unexpected from the son of a school-teacher father. To term him as highly read would not explain the academic achievements of a man who did schooling with other tribal children in the village school, went to Jagdalpur where he did graduation and post-graduation in three subjects – Economics, History, and Hindi, followed by several doctorates. He also did LLB in Corporate Law from Central Law College, Nagpur, Ayurved Ratna from Allahabad, and Ayurved Bhishgacharya from the World Academy of Ayurved.

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He was quintessentially a wanderer as his academic credentials show. Probably he was not sure of what he wanted to do with his life. He did various jobs including his stints as a banker and a university teacher before he got his calling that farming was what he wanted to do.

Belonging to a middle-class family, Rajaram was definitely not born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. He had to toil hard on the limited land his family had, to which he added with loans and learnt his lessons, often the harder way. At every step, the red tape and greedy officials were ready to greet and discourage him. It was an opportunity for him to show that he was a man of steel who could not be cowed down by challenges. 

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One of the first mistakes he did was to put up a board at a tiny place he had set up to convert his medicine herbs into powder which had the word INDUSTRYwritten on it. It was enough for the leeches in various government agencies to swoop down on him with greed. The electricity department demanded lakhs of rupees to provide him power supply, and the labour department would try to judge him through labour laws. They would have retracted if their palms were greased, by Rajaram, who by now had started being called Dr. Tripathi, refused. 

He says he has not paid a single penny as a bribe all his life and has never given any political donations. He decided to fight. His legal degree came in handy and finally, the High Court ruled in his favour and set precedents by ruling that it was not an industry that attracted industrial and labour laws, liberating him and others to freely convert their produce into products.

In the field of farming also, he learnt some hard lessons, and incurred heavy losses before deciding to focus on herbal farming. India then had no organic certification system in place. This forced him to seek certification from Germany and somehow managed to get their officials to visit him with a great degree of persuasion to become India’s first certified herbal farmer. This opened the floodgates for him to export his produce to European countries and start making money. He used various scientific methods, ancient wisdom, nature’s rules, and innovation to grow and flourish. Today his farms extend to over 1000 acres. 

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The benefits of organic herbal farming have not just benefitted him, but also thousands of other families. He openly teaches the tribal to do organic farming and helps them in exporting their produce. As a result, those who used to walk bare feet in the past are now well-dressed with proper shoes on their feet.Many of them now drive two-wheelers.

No study has yet been done if and how he might have encouraged hundreds of tribal youth from taking up farming instead of taking up the gun. But the fact that he continues to live and work among them (now he lives in Kondagaon which became a separate district after Bastar was split into several districts for better administration), yet he has not faced any threat or ransom demands from the armed rebellions of infamous Bastar jungle. It is a testimony to the recognition he is getting for starting a revolution of a different kind at the ground level and transforming lives.

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Dr. Rajaram Tripathi who has added four decades of experience and wisdom to enter the 60s club, has one regret. Forget about the country or Chhattisgarh, he could not make even his home district an organic district. Interestingly enough, Bhutan, an organic country, is indebted to him. Officials, scientists and policymakers from Bhutan visited him and his farms to learn the trick of how to completely discard chemicals and go organic. 

And how does he do that? His unconventional theories might bewilder many. People spray chemicals to keep termites away but he welcomes them and rues ignorance of the people when they spray deadly chemicals to kill termites. The chemicals end up entering the human body ultimately as the trees suck up these chemicals. To him, termites, ants, and spiders are nature’s gift to farmers. All of them have been assigned different roles which they enact in Dr. Rajaram Tripathi’s farms with impunity.

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Spiders cast their web around the Australian teak trees that he has planted. These trees enable pepper farming as they climb those tall trees. The spider web protect pepper bunches from insects. 

Termites eat away dead wood from trees to enable them to grow new branches and ants are like commandoes who keep roaming around to feast on termites when they venture out to ensure they do not grow disproportionately.

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Dr. Rajaram Tripathi has allowed termites to build their termitarium. Instead of destroying them, he lets trees grow through them and these trees bear fruits and herbs. He says termites play a vital role in keeping a tree healthy and never destroying a living tree.

So one would think that he has no regrets in life!There should be none when he has fulfilled his duties to his family and society to the fullest. He has taken the best possible care of his parents who continue to live in the village and his siblings, all of whom are with him in organic farming, and thousands of tribal families who refuse now to be covered by the BPL Scheme since they are earning well and living a good life with dignity. But Dr. Rajaram Tripathi has one regret. 

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Although he is the recipient of several national and international awards, one award that continues to elude him is being recognised as Mr. Green. He says he must have planted at least a million trees by now in his life. All these are recorded in the files of the forest department since these trees provide an additional source of income to him when they are chopped or cut and the woods are sold in the market to create high-end wood products. 

But then, he does not chase awards, recognitions,fame, and money. They chase him now. Dr. Rajaram Tripathi is in huge demand to speak on organic farming across the globe and they want to learn from him how harmful chemicals, pesticides, and fertilisers can be eliminated from farming to create a safer and better world for the progeny.

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इसे भी पढ़ें-देखें :

खेती की कमाई से हेलीकॉप्टर खरीदने जा रहा ये किसान! देखें पैसे बरसाने वाले ये वीडियोज

इंटरव्यू – डाक्टर राजाराम त्रिपाठी : भूटान सबसे खुशहाल देश तो है ही, हंड्रेड परसेंट आर्गेनिक कंट्री भी बना… इधर भारत के केला-सेब तक में घुसा है केमिकल का जहर!

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  1. Raju Narasimman

    July 8, 2023 at 8:23 am

    Dr.Rajaram is a very good of mine. The same creation was done by me also. Since from 2008 I have started producing Mangoes, Bsnanas and other vegetabkes. I wanted to give only non toxic food , fruits, vegetables. We met each other in New Delhi. The way he loves my Speech and every one must try to slowly change in to organic cultivation. Even I have worked in IAF for 15 years and now I am fully involved in organic cultivation and selling mangoes for Rs.160/ per Kg and Rs.45/ per kg for Bananas. I love my country and support lots of farmer friends and boys and girls studying in B.Sc AGRI/Horti are very happy with my model farm and learning practical experience in our Globsl GAP certified farm. Jai Jawan Jai Kissan. Every one must love our farmer friends and our soldiers who all very truly working for our country. Let any political party comes and goes I will prepare and produce only organic / Nin toxic food for not only our country but for the entire world. Raju Narasimman

  2. Dr Rajaram Tripathi

    July 8, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks Raju Bhai…
    Best wishes.

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