Visually challenged farmer in Karnataka beats odds and reaps success

SHIVAMOGGA: In his early teens, Gurunath Gowda lost his vision entirely. This 62-year-old, from Sorab taluk, is today a successful farmer with ten acres of commercial crop. He made this happen with sheer tenacity, and the loving support of his family and friends.

Gowda comes from a family of agriculturists, and was interested in farming even as a child. “I used to listen to a radio programme on farming every day,” he says. “They spoke about using various chemicals in the fertilisers.” When he chose to cultivate his acreage in 1981, he recalled these lessons.His farm has areca, pineapple, papaya  and pepper. Gowda’s right choice of commercial crops has helped him earn an independent livelihood. It sounds like an idyllic life, and it is. But, it was not an easy ride, says Gowda.

His father Puttappa Gowda had done his best to get his son his vision. He took him to renowned ophthalmologist Dr M C Modi for treatment of his affected eye. As a child, Gowda had vision in one eye. Dr Modi advised that Gowda undergo the operation when he turned 16. Gowda said, “He was a famous eye surgeon and, to my family, he was the only hope. So, I did not go for a procedure any earlier”.

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