As we celebrate Earth Day 2019 on Monday, April 22, meet a software engineer-turned-farmer, Binay Kumar, who is following progressive farming techniques in this modern era. Kumar, a trainer in permaculture and other advanced non-invasive farming practices, is teaching Bangaloreans how to grow their own food within their spaces and the urgent need for it.
"When you tie a string to your plastic garbage bag and put it outside, where do you think they go? To the moon? NO! They remain on the Earth," Kumar said. When Kumar extolled an unsuspecting crowd in a bus to examine their actions, to examine the importance of farmer, to go back to roots, and how as a generation we Indians are making sure that the problem of food security remains and actually grows, and the dire consequences of our actions on the environment, it hit people right in the conscience. The result was 13 lakh views and counting. But what is his story and who is this man on the bus?
Kumar, who could not speak English until he joined work as a software professional in Bengaluru, has come a long way. Today, he goes around speaking at important fora, gets invited at thought leadership conferences, meeting experts, academicians and field workers who are working to establish sustainable agricultural practices, ensuring food security and creating awareness about environment-friendly ways of living.
He has to his credit, the accomplishment and satisfaction of turning some of the most difficult pieces of land where nothing grew for over 15 years into lush green vegetation, thanks to his Permaculture training. He holds workshops each week in teaching people to grow now just green cover within their homes but also grow their own food in the simplest ways and in the shortest time. His workshops have become popular by word of mouth and run houseful, so much so that, he has been compelled to move his once a month workshops to once a week. His sharing is personal and thought-provoking to many and it has forced many to make a conscious shift.
A businessman with about 90 acres of land near Hosur, inspired by his workshop, has turned to sustainable agriculture, giving up chemical farming and use of plastic in his land. He has started milk production with a 5,000 litter capacity chiller. He sells the milk in recyclable glass bottles instead of plastic.
On the occasion of 2019 Earth Day, do let us know if you would like to meet or interact with Binay Kumar, 'the man on the bus' fame.