Pulwama : During the times when unemployment has become worst of nightmares for the youth in the State of Jammu & Kashmir, an old but enthusiastic floriculturist from Pulwama is a great character to get inspired.
A resident of New Colony area in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, Ali Mohammad Bhat has been working as a floriculturist from the past twenty years. And, he has been successful enough to grow almost all the varieties of flower plants that he once fetched from Srinagar and other places in order to fulfil the requirements of his customers.
“I have done enough business with people from other districts but one thing always pricked me while making a deal. The flower plants that I used to buy from them didn’t satisfy me as I was not sure whether the plant they sold me will bear the flowers that they claimed. I was in a condition of perpetual fear while selling those plants to my customers,” says Ali Mohammad.
He adds, “After being cheated many times, I made up my mind to grow as many varieties of flower plants as possible within my own garden instead of relying on others.”
Interestingly, Ali has turned the lawn of his house into a full-fledged garden where he grows the flowers and has named it Bhat Flowers.
He has hired two employees who not only help him in his garden but also transport the flower plants to places where Bhat strikes a deal for planting and maintaining a flower bed.
“I have some experts who live in Shopian. Whenever I get a contract for planting a flower bed somewhere, I call those experts. Our task is then limited to transportation of the flower plants only,” Ali says in a tone of laughter.
Ali works in his field all day long assisted by his two employees while his son has the responsibility of selling the flower plants.
“We earn a good bit of profit during the peak season (roughly mid-March through August). On average, we make a profit of 60-80 thousand rupees per month. However, there are months in which we earn lakhs as well,” Ali says.
Today, Ali Mohammad has almost all of the varieties of flowers that he desired to grow in his garden and is quite thankful to Allah for his hard work has paid him dividends in a big way.
“I have been assisted by the local government also through various schemes when I started off this venture. Definitely, that did help in taking this business up to a level where it can only get better and better in terms of revenue,” says Ali.
When asked about the growing rate of unemployment in the State, Ali opines, “Youth should not hanker after government jobs and ruin their career for few bucks. Education is their biggest weapon and they can do wonders only if they decide to take up the challenge to be their own boss.”
He further says, “Young people should not feel embarrassed in these sort of professions. I want to tell them that this earth can literally fetch us gold but we should be ready to work hard and take the initial risk.”