Darkness Conquered by Diwali Dazzle
– Nishu Nishant, Chakradharpur

“Paise nahi the apna pet bharne ko bhi, Diwali kahan se manate?” (We didn’t have money to fill our empty stomachs, celebrating Diwali was a dream we didn’t even dare to dream), Somwari recalls, her voice tinged with the echoes of past struggles.


The never-ending struggles!
In the heart of Porahat village, amid the rolling fields of Chakradhapur in Jharkhand, Somwari Diggi’s life once mirrored the shadows of hardship that loomed over her humble abode. When the rest of the country glittered with the luminous festivities of Diwali, Somwari’s world remained shrouded in darkness.

Tilling the land, barely an acre in size, she eked out a meager existence cultivating traditional crops like paddy, linseed, lentil, and chickpea. Yet, amidst the toil, the scant yearly income of INR 10,000 barely sustained his family of eleven.

INR 10,000 for 11 members in the family? Yes!

This was the reality of the life of Somwari Diggi and almost everyone around her.

Fig. Somwari Diggi in her farmland

The struggles were never-ending. Life was happening in front of her, and Somwari Diggi had no control over it; struggling every day to take care of even the basic necessities of her family.

START brought a New Hope

PRADAN had been working in the region for quite some time. The struggles of Somwari Digga and others gathered the attention of PRADAN via Nilam Mahto, a CRP (Community Resource Person) working under the START (Stimulating Tribal and Rural Transformation) project with the  Elangdolang FPO (Farmer Producer Organisation) establishment under the project.

Through the establishment of the Chinikuti Ajiwika Utpadak Samuh, a Producer Group, Nilam breathed life into Somwari’s aspirations. With steadfast determination, she introduced Somwari Digga and her fellow villagers to the untapped potential of marigold farming, a venture brimming with promise yet cloaked in uncertainty.

However, Somwari was unsure!

Neither did she have the financial buffer nor the technical expertise to start cultivating marigold. Understanding her doubts, she and other villagers were informed of Baghmara village in Chakradharpur block of Jharkhand where practising marigold farming has helped farmers earn INR 30,000-40,000 within just three-four months.

The live example provided her with much-needed confidence!

Change on ground!
Overcoming initial apprehensions and financial constraints, Somwari embarked on this daring endeavor with the unwavering support of the Elangdolang FPO and Nilam Mahto. Infused with technical expertise, quality inputs, and market linkages provided by the FPO, Somwari and her spouse Sukhram Diggi set out to cultivate a golden future from the fertile soil beneath their feet.

The fruits of their labor bloomed, transcending the boundaries of their modest acreage. Adopting best practices and guided by the Package of Practices (PoP), Somwari’s fields flourished with the radiant hues of marigold. As the flowers blossomed, so did Somwari’s fortunes, culminating in a bountiful harvest that illuminated her path from darkness to light.

Fig. Marigold harvest at Somwari Digga’s farm

Diwali Dazzle
With the onset of Diwali, the demand for marigold flowers surged, propelling Somwari to newfound heights of success. In a mere span of three months from September to November, 2023, she surpassed her previous annual income, earning INR 10,000 from her marigold cultivation alone.

But Somwari’s story is not merely one of personal triumph; it is a beacon of hope illuminating the way for others in Porahat and beyond. Inspired by her success, groups of farmers from neighboring areas started flocking to witness the golden bloom firsthand. Together, they started imagining a future where the fields of Jharkhand flourish with the vibrant hues of marigold, transforming dreams into reality.

Fig. Farmers from nearby villages visiting Somwari Digga’s marigold farm

“Jab itna Sundar bagan dekhte hai to Dil khush ho jata hai. Agal bagal se bhi log aakar jankari leke jate hain” (The garden looks so beautiful, it makes me very happy. People from nearby areas also come over and enquire about the cultivation method involved), says a visibly proud and happy Somwari Digga.

As Somwari looks towards the horizon, her gaze brimming with optimism envisions a future full of possibilities. With plans to expand her marigold cultivation to fifty decimals of land, Somwari stands as a testament to the transformative power of perseverance, determination, and community-driven change.


In the  fields of Porahat, where once darkness reigned, Somwari’s journey from struggle to success serves as a radiant reminder that even amidst the bleakest of circumstances, the seeds of hope can blossom into fields of gold.

Fig. Plucking and collection of flowers for selling