NATION

Wati, 60, Graduates In Male Dominated Class

It was a proud moment for 60-year-old Pushpa Wati when she graduated yesterday with a Certificate II in Production Horticulture at Vivekananda Technical Centre, Ramakrishna Mission, in Malolo, Nadi. Ms
16 May 2017 13:58
Wati, 60, Graduates In Male Dominated Class
From left: Farmer Salesh Kumar, wife Asha Devi, and son Shalvin Sharma. Photo: Shahani Mala

It was a proud moment for 60-year-old Pushpa Wati when she graduated yesterday with a Certificate II in Production Horticulture at Vivekananda Technical Centre, Ramakrishna Mission, in Malolo, Nadi.

Ms Wati was one of the only two females, who graduated with the specialised certificate among 49 male farmers.

In 1980, divorcee Ms Wati was forced to take her small children back to her roots in Nadi to earn a living to support her two children and parents.

She had to after the husband left her at their home in Lautoka.

Ms Wati and Mun Latchmi were the two female farmers who graduated.

“I want to thank the Lord and my family for their support in achieving this certificate. I have been farming to support my family for a very long time,” she said.

Ms Wati grows peanuts and a variety of beans, corn and okra.

“I have built a stall near the road where I sell my vegetables from and I also sell them to my neighbours,” she said.

“My son is now working and he supports me but, I want to continue working in my farm so that I can run my household and buy whatever I like.”

Ms Wati said farming was a form of exercise for her and through this she wanted to stay fit and healthy.

“I really struggled to support my children when my husband left me. Through farming with whatever I have earned, I ran my household, paid my children’s school fees, their school stationeries and got them married,” she said.

Fourty-nine-year-old Mun Latchmi said: “I am so feeling happy and excited to graduate with Certificate II in Production Horticulture.

“I do farming to support my husband in running my household and my children with their education needs.”

Ms Wati and Ms Latchmi reside in Korovutu, Nadi.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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