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How a Bengal villager turned from a coolie to Crorepati

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He did not get two square meals in his childhood. Born into abject poverty, he worked as a coolie at Sealdah station to earn a living. But Baduria’s Harun Mondal, who hails from Chandipur village has proved once again that if you work with conviction and use your brains, you can overcome absolutely any hurdles on your way. Today, Mondal earns in crores, and has employed more than 2,000 workers in his honey making factories and farms.

Mondal had started rearing honey bees all by himself on a small scale. Then he traveled to Punjab on work and learnt how to do it on a large scale. Now he exports Bengal Honey to countries such as America and Germany. He first started apiculture in 1987. Now he is 52 years of age but shows every bit of enthusiasm in his work. He used to rear special Italian bees which were smaller in size, but now he rears bigger bees that produce more honey. Mondal believes in inclusive development and hence helps his fellow villagers to start apiculture. He has also employed almost 2,000 boys in this trade, who collect honey from different districts.

The honey that Mondal sells come from different flowers. He says: “Best honey come from Mustard flowers of Nadia, Murshisabad and Birbhum, from Eucalyptus trees of Bankura and Medinipur, from Litchi flowers of Kaliachak and Farakka and Sona and Keora trees of Sunderbans.” But the honey made from Mustard flowers have the biggest market in the West, specially in Germany and USA. He sells raw honey acquired from mustard flowers at Rs 120-125 a kg.

And when Mondal smilingly says: “I have never been to a school, but I am happy that I could give employment to educated youths of my village,” then one realises how humble this man can be.