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About the Founder

Back in 1986, when I was just 18 years old, I earned my first income of Rs 1800/- after working diligently for three months at a monthly salary of Rs 600/-. My father, concerned that having the money might lead me astray, made me an offer that was hard to resist. He proposed that if I agreed to invest my money in a property, he would contribute an additional Rs 1800/- towards the purchase of a plot. I found the deal appealing, as I presumed that my father would acquire a plot of land on Mount Road in Chennai. Therefore, I accepted his offer.

Instead of Mount Road, my father bought a barren piece of land measuring 20,000 square feet for Rs 3600/- in a nondescript village near Acharapakkam, a town that took around five hours to reach by bus from Chennai back then. By the year 2000, everyone in my family, including my father, had forgotten about this investment. However, I did not forget; after all, it was my first investment.

As time went on, the nondescript village where my plot was located started to flourish and was eventually named Melmaruvathur. Property prices in the area skyrocketed around 2010, prompting me to take action. I commenced development on my plot by erecting a fence around its perimeter, drilling a borewell, and planting several fruit-bearing tree saplings. Through a combination of deliberate actions and fortunate circumstances, a few cows, goats, and hens ended up on the property as well. Today, I am the proud owner of a farmhouse that encompasses all the essential elements of an integrated micro-farm.

By the way, thanks to significant improvements in road infrastructure over the past 30 years, travel time between my current residence in Royapettah and my farmhouse in Melmaruvathur has decreased substantially. Nowadays, my family and I cherish the farmhouse as a precious gift. We spend our holidays and leisure time there, growing our own food and enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings.

When the time comes for me to retire from active life, although I have no intention of doing so, you will likely find me cultivating my land, caring for my cows, goats, and sheep, and gathering eggs from the hen’s enclosures.

Three months salary got me a farmhouse

Moral of the story: Land is the seed.” Athher Ahmed – Founder, Paalaar Urban Farms.

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