Nihar Ranjan Beura (50), an alumni of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has set up a dairy farm in his native village in Kendrapara district from where locals can buy pure milk at a cheaper rate than the market price.
Taking a break from busy schedule of his job at KIIT University in Bhubaneswar, Beura visits his native village at Dumuka under Marshaghai tehsil on weekends to look after the farm that has 32 hybrid high-yielding cows. "The objective to set up a dairy farm was to make available pure milk to my native villagers at reasonable price. Besides, I have been able to provide employment to at least ten families in the farm," Beura said.
The farm is being run on no-loss-no-profit basis. The return from the milk sold is spent on rearing the cows, he said. The project is now two years old.
"Nihar babu seems to set an example to others that one has to give back to his or her motherland," said a local, Abanti Behera. After finishing his schooling from a high school in Marsaghai and Intermediate Science in Kendrapara college, Nihar did MTech in Industrial Engineering and Management from IIT, Kharagapur.
I was only one year old when my father Sunakar and my five year old elder brother perished in the 1967 cyclone. My mother Sunandabala who became widow at the age of 25 was a source of inspiration for me. Some time back, I was struck by how little it had changed in the village. In my childhood, my mother used to eke out our living by selling milk from our four cows. I decided to rear cows in our village. I purchased 35 Jersey cows three years back by spending around Rs eight lakh. I spent Rs 10 lakh to build cattle shed. Now the cows give about 300 liters of milk daily. 12 families of our village eke out their living by working in the dairy farm. Three acre land close to the dairy farm has been developed for fodder farming. The fodder leads to increase in milk yield, said Beura.
Beura also organises yoga, meditation and spiritual events in his village. He said,
I quit highly paid job in the US and other countries and decided to settle at Odisha. With my present job, I have been able to pursue rural development in my village, he said.