I fulfilled my curiosity

Curiosity kills the cat, or so goes the adage, but a curious village lad from Gujarat working in villages of Maharashtra fulfilled his interest, without harming the buffaloes ! MM Patel fondly remembers his experience.

I got an opportunity to work as a member of the NDDB spearhead team at Jalgaon (Maharashtra) from 1974 to 1976. This was the period when Operation Flood – I was under implementation.

This posting enabled me get a very good exposure into the workings of spearhead teams through which NDDB helped organise village level milk producers cooperatives in 18 milk shed of India, of which Jalgaon was one.

My leader Dr ML Naware Sir was an enthusiastic professional taskmaster who valued hard work and punctuality most. However, I was able to earn his trust within a few months based on my working.

I used to attend village meetings with him. I enjoyed working under his leadership. Other team members and I had on many occasions breakfast and tea at his house. My family members were invited for lunch at his home when I was transferred back from Jalgaon to Anand.

I also remember some names of other team members of the Jalgaon Team, including Shri NB Vashi Sir. He is at present Managing Director of Valsad District Milk Producers Cooperative Union Ltd. Vasudhara Dairy.

Vashi Sir had offered me a job at vasudhara dairy in the year 2014, but I missed working with him as my twin brother was admitted to hospital for cancer treatment. And it became necessary for me to be with my twin brother. I am glad that I was able to be with my brother when he needed my service.

Initially, we worked in Pachora Taluka reorganising milk producers cooperative societies. The milk producers cooperatives societies in Pachora were not working on the Anand pattern. There was no system for milk testing, and producers were not paid as per the fat content of milk. Milk Producers had to bring their buffalo to an open ground near the society. The milk cooperative society staff supervised the milking of buffaloes.

We had to stop this system. Under the Anand pattern, milk producers milk their buffalo at their homes and bring milk to the society collection centre. We introduced testing of milk for fat content, and the price of milk was paid according to fat content as per Anand pattern. The producer members were happy with the new system.

After about a year of field work veterinary routes were started for these societies every week. For organising this work Dr Joseph was deputed from NDDB Anand. Fresh /experienced veterinary doctors were recruited by the Milk Union for the mobile veterinary services. Dr Joseph returned to Anand on completion of his work after a few months.

Once the reorganisation of milk cooperative societies in Pachora Taluka on Anand Pattern was completed except for me, all other team members were shifted to other talukas for similar work.

My task was to undertake visits to societies for supervision. I used to travel to societies using vehicles operating on the mobile veterinary routes.

I was curious to learn buffalo pregnancy diagnosis and administering medicine to a Buffalo through injection.

The doctor agreed and taught me the pregnancy diagnosis technique and how to inject a buffalo for administering medicine.

One day I had a talk with doctors. I had seen the doctors treating buffaloes and diagnosing for pregnancy. I had closely observed the hard work they put for treating buffaloes.

I had passed the 11th Board exam (Old SSC) with science subjects and took admission into science college. I later changed the study line and joined a commerce college due to the inconvenience of State Trasport bus timing for travel from my village to the college. I also used to work with a milk producers cooperative society in the neighbouring village. The Commerce (B Com) degree came very handy in 1981 when I was absorbed from NDDB into GROFED as an accountant and thereafter I also got an opportunity to work as Executive (Finance & Accounts) with Mehsana Dustrict Cooperative Oilseeds Growers Union.

I had seen only natural service for breeding of buffaloes in my village. Artificial insemination of buffaloes for breeding was carried out in my village only from the year 1970 onwards. We had to take our buffalo to a bull in the neighbouring village for servicing, and it was a cumbersome task.

I once accompanied my father when he had take our buffalo to the neighbouring village for servicing. On reaching that village we found that the bull was not there. During the day time the bull moved along with the herds of other animals for grazing. We had to take our buffalo to the ground where the animals and the Bull were grazing. With the help of herdsman and much hardship we were able to get our buffalo serviced.

The artificial insemination services for buffalo & cows provided through milk producers cooperative socities with the help of district milk union and NDDB is a boon to farmers and has contributed greatly the development of dairying in the country.

I was curious to learn more about pregnancy diagnosis. So while on veterinary route one day, I expressed my desire to insert my hand into the buffalo’s body to diagnose for pregnancy. The doctor agreed and taught me the pregnancy diagnosis technique and how to inject a buffalo for administering medicine.

There after I tried my hand at pregnancy diagnosis several times while on a veterinary route route and the doctors had found my diagnosis to be correct. I also used to inject buffaloes for administering medicine.

I enjoyed the learning experience and the way I was able to satisfy my curiosity. I fondly remember this even today.