Latur: A farmer in Latur district of Maharashtra, who almost gave up on life, found a silver lining to his dark clouds after changing his name to Vijay Mallya and converting his farm into a helipad.
Vijayrao Sadashivrao Malsure (Vijay Mallya now), a drought affected farmer from Latur still cannot believe how his fortunes changed overnight with just one small decision. Sitting on a makeshift couch placed on the porch of his hut, he spoke to our reporter and said, “I saw my crops wither away due to water scarcity. I have been pleading with Govt. authorities to provide me with water to save my crops. But there was no response from them, until now. Yesterday, I just said that I will convert my farm into a helipad and today morning there were four tankers outside my house already.”
“I can’t believe my eyes. Now I am wondering, why I didn’t do this earlier,” he said with some dejection.
When questioned about his name change he said, “There is something about this name. I was being hounded by bank officials all this while who wanted me to repay their loan. Bank officials used to come to my house and threaten me on a daily basis, but since I have changed my name to Vijay Mallya, not one has turned up to ask about my loan. To tell you honestly, I was scared. So I visited the branch to enquire and I was taken aback by the royal treatment they gave me.”
“In fact the Branch Manager offered to give me a top-up loan for my daughter’s wedding. When I told them about my inability to repay, the manager just smiled and ran away. I haven’t seen him since then,” said Vijayrao.
Jayantibai, who changed her name to Jessy, had a similar story to tell. “I used to work in Vijayrao’s field earlier. Now I do photo shoot for his calendar and life has completely changed for me,” she said with a smile.
Inspired by Vijayrao’s story, others too are converting their barren farms into helipads. Around 35 farmers have already gone ahead and converted and many more are on the list.
“I don’t know how but it’s working. Maybe helipads are the future of agriculture,” said another farmer.
But with Govt. now tightening its noose around Vijay Mallya, can Vijayrao breathe easy.
“I am aware of all those things and I agree it’s a concern. Maybe I should change my name to Vadra now. Then I will get cheap loans and Govt. too won’t act against me,” he said while marveling at his own ingenuity.