Bhasker Save- Our Gandhian Earth Keeper
Bhaskar Save was born in the coastal village of Dehri, India, on the Arabian Sea. His early years were spent in a small city, where modern conveniences, like electricity, did not yet exist.
As a child, he accompanied his father on bullock cart trips through forests to neighbouring areas. After encountering the Warli tribe, he was fascinated by their way of life and culture, and particularly awed by their belief that God lived in green trees.
By 1954-55, Save had already earned enough money to buy one hectare of land which today is part of the Save family's Kalpavruksha farm, in Umbergaon region, a coastal zone of South Gujarat. By 1956, Save reverted to his father's traditional farming methods. However, inspired by both the writings of Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave, particularly an article by Vinoba on farming practices of certain adivasis, he decided to revert to an organic system on one paddy for experimentation.
Though his yield declined the first year, so did his expenses and gradually he converted more acreage, which he reserved entirely for organic experimentation. He developed his system of natural farming after being induced to use chemical fertilizers, which after three years he realised was not returning value to him or his land. He later commented that: "By ruining the natural fertility of the soil, we actually create artificial 'needs' for more and more external inputs and unnecessary inputs for ourselves, while the results are inferior and more expensive in every way."
Masanobu Fukuoka of Japan, visited Save at his Kalpavruksh farm in 1997 as a special guest to commemorate India's 50 years of independence led by Mahatma Gandhi.
Beyond the many awards that Bhaskar Save has received, his reworking of an ancient trench and platform system for irrigated fruit trees, like banana, chikoo and coconut has been recognised by the United Nations (2001) and others as one of the most important orchard production systems in the world.
Bhaskar Save, aged 93, left this world on Oct 24, 2015
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