Happiness: Hold one kind thought!

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To define happiness is a very simple task. Just be kind to someone and the emotion that you feel thereafter is happiness. I belong to a family where values supersede all other dimensions and perspectives of life. School for me was always another home where my teachers carved the path of my wisdom with great care. Today, through this article I wish to present a new concept which I have created for myself and my fellow human beings. My concept is called – ‘Hold one kind thought’.  How, why and where should one hold a kind thought? Let’s explore the answers one by one.

Let’s start with the last question,

Where? The answer is a little complex but with time it finds its place and exemplifies beyond words. The ‘kind thought’ has to be held at the same time in the conscious and subconscious mind. A philosophical answer to the present question can be – the heart! But, in spirit, the mind is the one that helps us to convert the thought into the desired action.

The next word is,

Why? This has a simpler answer as compared to the first one. A kind thought gives way to internal motivation, positivity, energy and above all peace. It transforms into service. Without holding a kind thought consistently one cannot ever understand the science of service. For me, service is analogous to being alive.

And,

How? The answer is simple. Bring to the conscious mind the acts, the words, the sights, the people and all the goodness and peace that has come to us through all these. Look at Mother Earth and hold one kind thought in the mind every moment every day and after some time the thought transforms into service towards nature, service towards the sons and daughters. Look at the teachers around and hold a kind thought and it will soon transform into service towards them through obedience and polite words.

A kind thought helps the heart to grow warm. It starts getting affected by the sadness around which acts as a signal to act. Let me share my own story which helped me to design some simple solutions for people around me.

It was a hot summer day and the newspaper in the morning read, ‘Drought in   Maharashtra brings a rain of farmer suicides’.  I was deeply moved by this sad feature and I decided to save at least one farmer from committing suicide.

I started humble research, my simple one to one discussions with farmers, detailed discussions with Scientists and continued reading incessantly led me to a solution. During my discussions, I realized that the farmers lose hope when they see big deep cracks in the soil of their farm and have no water to replenish the soil. Surface dehydration was the major concern for these farmers.

I designed an innovative method “Neer Setu Farming” for farmers living in these drought-prone areas. In this method, I simply reinforced the soil in the farms with Jute fibres from old gunny bags.

Jute reinforcement with soil helped in water retention in the soil, lowered the evaporation rate, cooled the upper surface of the soil layer, prevented soil erosion and above all increased the productivity of the crop with less water consumption. Jute fibres’ moisture regains value is up to 36% at 100% relative humidity; water holding capacity is 500% and ignition temperature is 193 degrees. Jute fibres are eco-friendly, bio-degradable, cost-effective and soil friendly as they nurture the soil enhancing its fertility. This gave a new light for the farmers and soon my method was adopted by farmers in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Would you believe that this small change saved 2,000,000,000 litres of water in one cropping season?

Thousands of lives were directly impacted. I am sure 'a life' would have been saved!

The belief of the farmers motivated me to do further research in agriculture and solve at least one more problem. A published report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai presented one more major reason for farmer’s suicides. It was the ‘repeated crop failures’. When I delved deep into this problem I found that Yellow Mosaic Virus disease was one crop disease which led to the failure of crops by almost 100%. The crop management techniques including pesticides, genetic mutations, etc had all proved unsuccessful. This was a challenge but I promised Shri Sudhakar Gadhwe, a 65-year-old farmer in the village of Katol that in the next cropping season his Okra crop will not only survive but yield him at least 200% profit. My promise gave me the strength to cross small failures for one complete year and finally, I found a zero cost organic solution to this grave problem prevalent all over the world.

Tridax Procumbens plant came to light as the healer of the plants. This commonly available weed which was posing a problem for the farmers now turned to be their saviour.

The extract of this plant, when sprayed on plants, saved them from the Yellow Mosaic Virus disease. With immense hope, Sudhakar Gadhwe allowed me to experiment in his field and was pleasantly surprised to see the miracle! Dear friends, my experiment had worked! I started reaching out to as many farmers I could with this solution. Changing farmers’ lives is not my mission but my passion! I strongly believe that saving one farmer from committing suicide saves one complete society from going without food!

My work was finally recognized by National and International platforms and reached the world’s biggest science and engineering fair – the ISEF 2020!! The National Children Science Congress and the IRIS National Fair both coveted fairs under the Department of Science and Technology Government of India awarded me for this innovative work.  But honestly speaking my biggest reward was the smiles on the farmers’ faces.

People around us generally believe that if a child invests time in social work or acts of kindness or service, he may loose on to academics. I have been asked this question many times. Let me tell you my answer to this repetitive query. Or rather let me ask you a question:

If you wish to study for a test and your mind is cluttered with stress and unnecessary thoughts would you be able to do justice to your studies even if you spend the entire day with books?

Will you be able to concentrate better if your mind is at peace and your heart is filled with happiness? Will it take less time to complete the syllabus of the test?

This is how I can manage the balance with my studies and my service. For me performing good in academics is also an act of holding kind thoughts.

Shreenabh M Agrawal is a keen researcher and has been recognized by many National and International bodies for his wonderful social impact projects in the areas of agriculture, education, senior citizens, e-Waste Management, Sustainable cities, etc! His Oldy –Goldy Clubs initiative is the closest to his heart. He has recently been awarded the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana Fellowship.  He scored 99.2% in his ICSE Board exams in Class 10 and is presently studying in Class 12 ISC. To know more about him visit shreenabh.com

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author.

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