Maruti A. Patil and his family are from Ramanwadi Village, Radhanagari Tehsil, Kolhapur District; M.S. Venu Madhuri is working with Ramanwadi villagers since 2001, to make Ramanwadi into a village of local self-sufficiency.
Year 2001, Maruti had no cow but 2 buffaloes for milk sale to dairy. Every day the family use to sale 4 liter of milk to dairy at the price of 8 Rs/liter. For delivery of milk to dairy, Maruti had to walk 8 km through mountains up & down the steep hill. Maruti use to retain 300-400ml of milk for families consumption. For collection of fuel wood for cooking, Maruti’s mother or younger sister Geeta use to walk 7 km everyday.
Ramanwadi is located off the road in isolated forest region where the basic facilities like road, health center, secondary education, market are missing. For basic requirement like matchstick or salt villagers walk four km down and up the hill. Several cases of emergency pregnant ladies being carried on bullock cart got delivered in the cart causing fatal treat to baby and mother.
The family annual consumption of fire wood for cooking meals was 5000 kg (13.5 kg fire wood /day). Read today how the family is financially stable, out of dairy trap, conserving forest and protecting nature plus every one from family drinks ample cow milk and freely distributes butter milk to neighborhood villagers.
Venu Madhuri began its work at Ramanwadi in 2001. Core area of work was to educate villagers about role of cow in sustainable development of human health, agriculture & fuel. After constant awareness Maruti and his family brought one cow (non-milking) free from neighboring village.
Inspired Maruti in 2003, in front of village gathering took a vow for lifetime cow protection.
In between Maruti learnt that one of his relatives at a distant village is going to sale their unfertile, unproductive cow to butcher. Maruti reached the site, relative handed over the cow to him and he walked for 8 hours (as he was not able to afford transportation cost) with the cow to village Ramanwadi
Latter the same cow was name Janki (photo Maruti with Janki). The same so called unproductive Janki became pregnant and gave birth to bull named Bhima. She is milking today 3lit/day and for last 15 months she is giving milk.
Today Maruti and his family rear 14 cattle of which 6 are cows named (dhavali, anjani, krishna, janki, laxmi, one to name) & 8 are bulls named (ram, laxman, balram, arjun, bhima, vittal, & 2 to name). Photo shows Maruti’s cows in front of his home.
These days 4 cows are milking and Maruti’s family get 4.5 liter of pure cow’s milk and almost the same amount is consumed by calves from their respective mothers. The whole family regularly drinks milk (and not tea) with extra milk the family prepares curd and transforms curd into ghee for regular home consumption. Milking is done by Maruti. Other family members do churning with traditional churning rod (seen in photo) that was not utilized for several years because of no milk at home. On daily basis family consumes milk item at home & very happily distributes butter milk free to neighboring villagers.
Gobar gas – with ample dung from cattle Venu Madhuri helped Maruti with Gobar gas plant (22 gobargas pants for 22 families are constructed at Ramanwadi) and since May -2008 part of dung from cows were utilized for production of gobargas.
With gobargas into life the families’ daily trip of 8 km with head load fuel wood collection stopped. Today family cooks their meals on gas from cow dung. This also reduced their hassles of firewood burning problems during rainy season.
Because of gobargas, the family conserves fuel wood of 5110 kg/year. Cutting no trees is contributing towards reducing green house effect. Maruti at Ramanwadi is directly contributing to reduce global warming.
dung from cows fresh or through gobargas slurry is utilized by the family on 5 gunta of their agriculture land. This application was done constantly for 3 years. Today without any input of organic or inorganic fertilizer Maruti cultivates the land for rice. Remaining dung is utilized for farming.
Today the family grows rice organically from 5 gunta of land. The rice production is 150kg. Maruti’s family consumes organic rice at home, they also grow banana without chemical fertilizers with some other vegetables. The next step is to learn and gain confidence in growing sugarcane organically and to grow other requirements in kitchen.
The family before the irrigation project had 1.10 acre of land under perennial cultivation and now because of irrigation the family has 3.5 acre of land under perennial cultivation of sugar cane and ground nut. The sugarcane production of family before was 25 tone and now it is 52 tones. In 2010 Maruti spend 24,000 Rs and developed a 20 gunta (half acre) of waste land to cultivable land.
In May 2009 with Venu Madhuri guidelines the family decided to construct a simple mud house. Whole family worked hard for months together and laid down 25,000 bricks. That save Rs 55,000 Rs otherwise would have spent on purchase of bricks.