Sahitya Akademi Winner Turns Farm Labourer to Support Family as Lockdown Costs Him His Teaching Job

Representative Image.
(Credit: AP)

Representative Image.
(Credit: AP)

With the school shutting down, the former professor and Sahitya Akademi winner Navnath Gore has been earning about Rs 200 for half a day’s work and Rs 400 for the full day.

  • Last Updated: September 25, 2020, 10:24 AM IST


The coronavirus pandemic has pushed Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar winner Navnath Gore to take a turn from his academia to become a farm labourer.

Since the lockdown struck, Gore’s college, where he gave lectures on ‘clocked hours’, shut down temporarily in Ahmedanagar district, Maharashtra, reports Times of India.

The 32-year-old won the accolade for his debut novel ‘Fesati’, which refers to a ‘farm implement made from bamboo and used for sowing seeds’. It ensures zero wastage of the seeds and also symbolises the struggles of rural India.

With the school shutting down, Gore has been earning about Rs 200 for half a day’s work and Rs 400 for a full day. He has to travel for 25 km away from his village, but even that doesn’t ensure him a full-time work despite agricultural activities peaking during the monsoon season.

Gore is reportedly worried about running out of a job once the agricultural work is over.

Previously, Gore would make around Rs 10,000 from his teaching job but ever since he lost his father in February, he had to return to his native village to manage food and medical costs for his ailing mother and physically challenged brother.

Born into a Dhangar (nomadic shepherding community) family, Gore has seen life and faced many hardships in life. He would often skip school “mind the flock”. On his mother’s inconsistent persuasion, gore his post-graduation in Marathi from Shivaji University in Kolhapur.

The TOI report states that in Gore’s book ‘Fesati’, the protagonist Natha Gore is a symbol of the large scale suffering of the youth in rural India.

In the light of the recent event, several farmers’ organisations, including from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have called a national shutdown on Friday as they intensify their protest against the contentious farm bills passed by Parliament earlier this week.

With both the ruling Congress and opposition AAP as well as NDA ally SAD supportive of the farmers’ agenda, Punjab and Haryana are likely to see a total shutdown. Farmers in Punjab have already started a three-day rail blockade against the bills, squatting on tracks at many places on Thursday. The farmer outfits have also decided to call an indefinite rail blockade from October 1.

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