In a twisted turn of fortune, a small farmer from Madhya Pradesh's Panna rose to riches, as a 'pebble' he mined from his small patch of land, turned out to be a 14.98-carat diamond.
Lakhan Yadav, 45, had leased out 10X10 patch of land last month for just ₹200 for farming purposes. But he earned ₹60.6 lakhs after the diamond which he found in the land was auctioned on Saturday.
"It changed my life," said Yadav to Times of India. He said that he will never forget the moment when he scooped up a handful of earth, stones, and pebbles and found one that looked different. It shined when he rubbed the dust off it, after which he soon took it to the district diamond officer. The officer confirmed it was a diamond.
The moment took him by surprise that he quite did not know what to do with so much money that he had never seen before. When asked how it feels like to be a millionaire, Yadav replied, "I will not go for anything big. I am not an educated person and I will put the money in a fixed deposit to ensure my four kids get a good education," he said.
He is one of those evicted from Panna National Park when villages were removed. He bought two hectares with the compensation money, two buffaloes, and now a motorcycle that he bought with the first ₹1 lakh he got after depositing the diamond with the district administration.
Although he was happy with the motorcycle he said his nephews insisted him to buy the motorcycle.
Yadav plans to go back to digging the land anticipating another diamond. "I hope to get another diamond. I will work on it for a few months, perhaps get the lease renewed," he added.
Similar Such Incidents In Panna
In September, a 12.58-carat diamond with an estimated value of about ₹30 lakh was discovered in an agricultural field owned by a small farmer, Prakash Kumar Sharma at village Sarkoha in Madhya Pradesh's Panna district.
In July this year, another poor farmer, Anandilal Kushwaha (34), resident of Ranipur village from the same district had mined a high-quality diamond weighing 10.69 carats in his land taken on lease from the government.