Woman with 1,000 grandkids and Thenmala

Our newsletter this week features a woman with a thousand grandchildren, a Delhi Metro engineer turned organic farmer, jungle treks through skywalks, and industrious women around Rajasthan's Sambhar Lake

Rashmi Pratap
23 Jul 2023

Woman with 1,000 grandkids and Thenmala


Dear Reader,

The first priority of every parent is the well-being and safety of his or her child(ren). From installing cameras to restricting outdoor movements and monitoring their online activities, parents don’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to keeping their children away from harm. But then, there are also parents who struggle to put food on the table and no matter how much they wish, they can’t be around their kids to monitor them.

Poverty is one of the biggest root causes of human trafficking. Sometimes, parents sell children to earn money and reduce the number of mouths to feed; at other times, children run away from their homes in the hope of a better future and end up in the traps of traffickers. And many are lured by traffickers on the promise of a good life, well-paying work, and financial freedom.

Sadly, around 60 percent of trafficking victims in India are females, who mostly end up in red-light areas across the country. One woman fighting to free these girls from forced prostitution is Sunitha Krishnan, founder of NGO Prajwala.

Despite 17 attempts on her life, Sunitha continues to rescue girls trafficked from India and abroad through her squad in collaboration with the police. Many of the girls rehabilitated by Prajwala are now physicians, engineers, CAs, MBAs etc. Others have been skilled in non-traditional occupations like welding and book-binding to earn livelihood with dignity, writes my colleague Partho.

And yes, 51-year-old Sunitha has performed the wedding ceremonies for almost 9,000 women and is a grandmom to 1,000 children. Do read this very inspiring story.

From Rajasthan, my colleague Urvashi writes about the industrious women of villages around the Sambhar Salt Lake. Access to safe drinking and irrigation water in the region is a challenge due to high salinity, which also causes disability and respiratory diseases. With support from NGO Gram Chetna Kendra, founded by Om Prakash Sharma, around 1,000 women have built water harvesting structures.

Sharma, while working in a local dairy, learned about the problems of the locals and eventually quit his job to address the issues. His NGO has helped women shift from chemical to organic farming and cattle rearing to earn stable incomes. With an improved water supply, they are able to cultivate crops twice a year unlike one crop earlier. And dairy farming has brought prosperity to impoverished households.

Last week, I spoke to a civil engineer who worked for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for 15 years and then quit to pursue farming. The rising number of working professionals leaving jobs to go back to their roots points to many changes underway in our society – the rising disenchantment with urban life, increasing love for the homeland and a razor-sharp focus on profitability by educated farmers.

Raman Salaria converted his father’s chemical-based wheat and paddy farm in Pathankot, Punjab, into an organic fruit orchard and now makes a profit of Rs4 lakh per acre through the cultivation of dragon fruit. He also earns Rs 2.5 lakh per acre through the cultivation of bananas and papaya. The story details his profitability mantra, making it a must-read for farming enthusiasts.

Our Sunday piece is on Thenmala -- Kerala’s honey hill that offers trekking, camping, biking, boat rides, tree houses and leisure walks in the lap of nature. The jungle treks through wooden skywalks are perfect for adventure lovers.

In the Money section, Karan writes that the current stock market bull run is still in its infancy and equity prices could rally further. The best way to play this market is to buy high-quality stocks that are trading at a discount right now and he has listed five of them. Do look up the piece before investing in stocks this week.

Happy Reading!





How Sunitha Krishnan took on traffickers to rescue 28,000 girls forced into prostitution


How 1,000 women around Sambhar Salt Lake are conserving water & practising organic farming


Punjab’s engineer-farmer earns profit of Rs4 lakh per acre with organic farming of dragon fruit