Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fiji Daily Post Story. "Survival of the Fittest" Jagdish Kumar, has 'Special Needs' But Works Hard.

Kuini Waqasavou gives us a glimpse of Jagdish journey. The story is much needed more so now for Fiji people that have lost their jobs or have been axed from their jobs due to the current regime's early retirement scheme of when one reaches the age of '55'.

This is a far cry from what the neighboring countries are doing as on most occasion, retirement age is 65yrs or you can work your way through provided one gets the authentic Medical (ok) Clearance to continue.

Now thats what we call Maximizing 'Human Brains & Capacity' regardless of one's age. Well done to those countries outside Fiji that 'Value their Human Potentials' this way.

On another note, if we are to evaluate Fiji's current status be it, political, economical, social, cultural etc, one can only say hmmmm ........& justs have to siiiiiggghhhh!!

However on a lighter note, lets learn from Jagdish and be challenged by his inspiring stories and do something similar so that each of our family members are fed, clothed, kept warm, educated, receives health care and enjoy the security of their homes with their loved ones.
At the very least, these will keep our Fiji society going even though the 'Fiji Governance' is not the Ideal Model that we wish it would be.
Image: Photo: Sean Spraguehttp://www.ozspirit.com/2008/178b.html

God Bless Fiji & its People.

read further....
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No excuses for toiling the Aland 2-Jun-2009
DISABILITIES are something that people would rather ignore than talk about but it is something that exists within our society.Yet, we have loved ones in the family or friends that are living with disabilities, but are not sitting and moping about what has happened, but, are on the move in making better lives for themselves.Jagdish Kumar 49, of Varoko Settlement, Ba is living testimony of a courageous father, husband and sole breadwinner of the family who relies on farming for a living using only one hand.“An accident happened some years back during a fishing trip, and I lost my right hand, but it never stopped me from doing what I adore most and that is farming,” smiled Jagdish.A sugarcane farmer most of his life, Jagdish decided to try his hands on something totally new, hence the trip to the Agriculture Office in Ba where he has been working closely with the officials.“I sat down with the experts and asked them that I wanted to get into something totally new so that it could be harvested in a short span of time,” he said.After much deliberation on the matter, Jagdish knew that he had to start planting eggplant on a much larger scale so that more could be earned in a short period of time.Now already into his third year of vegetable farming, Jagdish has been toiling hard on his two acres of eggplant and is awaiting the harvest of his sugarcane so that the land can be replanted with eggplant. “I feel for those farmers that had to start from scratch during the floods in January, but we all know that farming has a lot of risks involved and it is a choice that we have to live with,” he smiled.Jagdish not only plants eggplants but has included a host of other fruit trees like hybrid mangoes, vegetables like cabbage, bean, cucumber and tomatoes.“I am supplying my eggplants and hybrid mangoes to Mahen’s Exports in Sigatoka and I make sure that I follow the correct procedures that have been laid out by the Fiji Quarantine Services.”This would mean spraying his mango orchards when it flowers because it is one of the many hosts of fruit flies. Other fruits and vegetables are supplied to the local markets in Ba and Lautoka.Through sheer hard work and determination, Jagdish managed to get help from the Ministry of Primary Industries through its Export Promotion Programme (EPP).Senior Agriculture Assistant (Ba) Sanjay Anand says Jagdish had surpassed all expectations in his farming programme and has been striving throughout the past few years despite his disability.“It’s very encouraging to see his determination see through all the obstacles in his farming venture and to continue to work hard on his farm,” Anand said.“We have been working closely with him and we saw the need for a bore-hole with which water can be pumped into his fields of eggplant and vegetables.”Anand adds that a project paper was drawn up, and it was given the green light late last year, but he received his materials in the first two months this year.“He received $1800 worth of bore-hole materials, pipes, fertiliser and chemicals and so far, he has been utilising all these well and producing more vegetables on the ground.”“His interest has grown from strength to strength and we have noticed that his whole family is very keen in assisting him in whatever little way they can so that their only source of income strives into the future.”The EPP is a development assistance programme of Government aimed at enhancing the living standards of people in the rural areas including the outer islands through improved market access opportunities and services.It is about the development of sustainable farming and agro-based enterprises that meet the market demand.An enterprise can take a range of structural forms that include individuals, partnerships, households, special interest groups like church, women or youth groups, a registered co-operative, registered company, or traditional groupings like mataqali, tokatoka or village.Jagdish is not abandoning sugarcane farming altogether. In fact he will continue with it but plans to purchase more land for vegetable farming.“There is no excuse for laziness in this world, and I never use my disability as an excuse either because I know that I have to be strong for my family and provide them with their needs.”“If I can do farming on a commercial basis, I am sure everyone else can do the same because there is simply no better opportunity of earning money than money earned from farming.”
By KUINI WAQASAVOU

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