1. Success Story

Meet this 68 year Old Yoga Teacher Who Spreads Happiness among Unprivileged Kids & Dreams of an Organic India

Pronami Chetia
Pronami Chetia
Pic Credit- The Better India

An unbreakable dream, an enthusiasm towards a better future, an infinite zest to make this world a little better has turned this ordinary person to an extraordinary one. Today our story will portray and tribute a 68-year-old yoga teacher cum-organic farmer who has adopted many unprivileged kids to give them education and a healthier & brighter future. 

Mallkiarjungoud Patil is a Yoga teacher or mentor and more importantly anchor for those children who belong to economically backward families of Guddad Hulikatti village in Dharwad district of Karnataka. He has not only adopted those children but also dreamt of transforming them into educated, healthier, responsible and bright individuals. His green dreams wake him up all night. 

The yoga class goes on for an hour after which they go back to their guru’s home to eat a fresh and healthy breakfast consisting of millet-made dosa or idli. Later, they chart their way to their school. 

“Being uneducated, we cannot help our son in studies. We are happy Patil sir is helping our son in his studies,” said the farmer parents of Suprit, one of the children adopted by Patil.  

When the children return from their school, Patil helps them with their homework and gives them practical lessons on farming. 

Patil’s routine has been more or less the same for the last 30 odd years, except for a few things like switching to organic food, teaching yoga and his determination to help impoverished children get an education and a healthy lifestyle. 

Let’s know where it all begins. 

Patil was diagnosed with severe back pain in 1986 and was asked to include yoga in his everyday schedule. He joined a yoga class in Hubli, where he had been working in the city’s Postal Department for ten years.  Yoga reduced Patil’s pain considerably within a year and ignited a new passion in him. 

“I was so bowled over by the benefits of yoga that I decided to learn it and teach others,” he tells us. 

After completing a diploma in yoga from Karnataka University, Patil started his own part-time classes in 1989 while still working. In his yoga career spanning three decades, Patil claims to have taught yoga to around 20,000 people. 

The thought of not having natural food troubled him all throughout and eventually pushed him to pursue organic farming. So until 2010, he continued with his job to fend for his family and once his three children became financially independent, Patil took early retirement to make natural food accessible. 

He moved back to his village with his wife in 2010 and took back his family’s four-acre land that he had given on lease to other farmers. The land was almost infertile due to chemicals and fertilizers that were being used on it and it took Patil nearly two years to make the farm toxin-free. 

Meanwhile, he underwent training for 3-4 months in organic farming from Karnataka University and soon, he started cultivating millet and gradually introduced other plantations like wheat, rice, groundnut, banana, mango, drumstick, maize, ragi and papaya. 

Patil believes in growing plants that have high nutritional values coupled with other unique features.  Take for example millets which are a less water-intensive crop and thus is drought-resistant. It is a superfood rich in fibre and minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium and has a long shelf life. As for Taiwan yellow, a papaya variety, it is rich in antioxidants and reduces the risk of heart diseases. Plus, they are sturdy and do not get easily damaged. 

He uses the ancient method of preparing fertilizer, ‘Jeevammurtha’. It is a mixture of cow urine and dung, jaggery and water that can be prepared in seven days. 

“I mix ten litres of cow’s urine and dung with one kilo of jaggery, one cup of soil and water. I put this mixture in a pit of 200-litre capacity, and leave it undisturbed. It provides essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to the plants,” says Patil. 

Composting is another method to prepare organic fertilizer. In a 3×10 feet pit, he adds wet waste and covers it with cow dung and water. The top layer of the pit is filled with waste leaves. He leaves the mix for three months after which the waste converts into compost. On average, he produces one tonne of compost every 90 days. 

The Way Towards Green  

Patil dreams of a healthy and green world. He has dreamt of a green world with fresh air and fresh foods through organic farming and farming independent of pesticides. He hopes to increase the number of yoga students to promote healthy lifestyle via yoga and intake of nutritional food. 

As for organic farming, he is currently chalking out a plan to conduct workshops in his village for farmers on organic means to grow food. 

He has a big message to the world, “At 68, if I am able to do the kind of exertion required for farming and yoga it is only because of exercise and healthy food . . . these two things have changed my life for the better. I wish to pass on my knowledge to other farmers and make them independent of pesticides.” 

People like ‘Mallkiarjungoud Patil’ are really rare to find who relentlessly work for a better India, a better world and spread happiness in a tiny place like Guddad Hulikatti. We should learn and get inspired by his enthusiastic spirit for a better version of ourselves and make this world a better place to live. 


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