Ashok Sonule

In drought-hit Maharashtra, where farmers are struggling to eke out their livelihood from their barren fields, Ashok Sonule has left his entire jowar crop to the birds. Ashok Sonule, his sons, Prakash and Vilas, and brother Balu work as laborers in Gadmudshingi village, about 15 kms from Kolhapur to feed a family of twelve. Sonule owns just 0.25 acres of land which remained barren due to the scarcity of water. However, when he sowed jowar seeds as usual a couple of years ago without expecting much, he surprisingly found that the crop flourished and was ready for harvest.

A thorny almost dead babool tree in the middle of the farm was proving to be hindrance due to its low branches and he thought of cutting it. However, he saw some nests on the tree so he refrained from chopping it. Then he noticed some birds coming to feed on the jowar. The benevolent Sonule decided to leave his entire crop to the birds because there was hardly any grain for the birds to feed on as the entire area was barren. He also placed pots of water for the birds and now his farm is a haven for birds. The family now owns two buffaloes and cultivates some vegetables to earn their livelihood. Sonule says he is happy that he is able to help birds and encouraged all the villagers to place water containers to help the birds in their area.