To educate farmers about the benefits of organic farming, an engineering drop-out from Gohana block in Haryana's Sonepat has pedalled more than 18,500km covering several northern states.
Neeraj Prajapati has cycled in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan to help farmers understand the negative implications of using pesticides for their crops. He has been spreading awareness of how these chemicals are the cause of rise in cancer patients and lung diseases in the country.
Sharing on what prompted him to start his journey, Neeraj said that it was a conversation with his friend about 'Cancer Trains' (that runs between Punjab's Abohar and Rajasthan's Jodhpur). These special trains ferried hundreds of cancer patients to Bikaner for subsidised and affordable treatment.
"I was moved and was already aware of the malpractices used to increase farm yield. So, I decided to educate farmers on the benefits of organic farming," he said, reported Hindustan Times.
Neeraj has been on the road since April, last year, and his journeys have helped him interact and communicate with different farmers. He has helped them understand the techniques in setting up markets and increasing productivity.
He was recently on a trip to Ambala where he met a sugarcane researchers in the city and some progressive farmers in Panjokhara to discuss ideas on organic soap manufacturing. He was reportedly also felicitated by an NGO in Ambala Cantonment.
He said that during his travel he gets opportunities to meet researchers, scientists, and experts on organic farming and he then took these new techniques to the farmers in various villages.
"I listen to the issues of farmers and then discuss those with experts to find a solution. My mission was halted for a few months due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown but now things are getting back on track," he said.