Published: 16th June 2021
This organisation has been supporting the education of kids who've felt the trauma of farmer suicides in rural Telangana
Kisan Bandhu works really hard to thoroughly verify and then completely support those grief-stricken families who have seen farmer suicide and are now bereft without hope. This is how they do it
The life of Sateesh Goud Rangampeta has been dedicated to service for a long time now. But the first cause to stir his heart was that of farmer suicides. It was a daily that acquainted him with the latest number of farmer deaths and this clawed at the now 33-year-old's heart, bit by bit, until he was compelled to do something. This was in 2012. In 2014, Youth For Seva happened, an organisation dedicated to community service — he continues to remain a Senior Volunteer with the organisation till date. But it was with Kisan Bandhu that he started his own initiative — to adopt families that have seen farmer suicides and provide education to the family's children.
They have also supported the education of four children in Devarakonda and one woman with regards to self-employment
"Most of our activities are concentrated in Kodangal, in Vikarabad District of Telangana, where we observed that the number of farmer suicides were higher than usual," explains the Chandampet-born, a village that falls in the Medak District of the state. Registered as an NGO in February 2016, what Kisan Bandhu has done is support families with self-employment opportunities to make them self-reliant and support the education of children all through. Currently, they are supporting the education of eight children.
Sateesh Goud Rangampeta
"Initially, we wasted a lot of time chasing corporates for funds, but later, we decided to take the route of social media," explains the youngster who settled in Hyderabad in 2012. There is no denying the fact that these families' stories strike a chord with people. Donors were welcome to donate as much as they could and were kept informed about how much their donations were actually helping. Take, for example, their post on Govindamma, who was able to garner educational support for her two children, or Aruna, who went from distrusting Kisan Bandhu to considering them family. Each and every story gets the chance at a hopeful future. "We also provide ladies with sewing machines, seeds or other farming equipment that they may need to start over," he shares.
They have supported over 15 families and donated about 3,000 school bags to kids
The leads for these families are obtained from Rythu Swarajya Vedika, a network of organisations working for the farming community. A Kisan Bandhu team member visits the family for an elaborate discussion to understand what transpired and how they can help. "It is only after this that we give our commitment that we will help them through everything and as long as they require it," informs Sateesh, who has helped spread awareness about farmer helplines. "The thing is, sometimes, farmers choose suicide, hoping that their family will get ex-gratia but that doesn't happen often," he says sadly.
Working to serve
COVID has forced Kisan Bandhu to reassess their priorities, they have resorted to distributing rations, oximeters and such. "About 90% of those working in Mumbai came back to the town and needed support. We supplied grocery kits to 215 people and 120 private teachers last year. This year, we supplied 260 oximeters to ASHA workers and four oxygen concentrators to four PHCs," shares the youngster who also has an electrical shop in Quthbullapur, a suburb in Hyderabad.
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