Mr. Ashok read a few lines from the first agriculture minister Panjabrao Deshmukh’s library in Akola, Maharashtra, in 1996. He started researching pearl farming and is now working in organic pearl farming for the last twenty years. He took training from different institutes of India teaching pearl farming.
Mr. Ashok and his wife, Mrs. Kuljan, changed the concept of pearl farming by generating pearls through not just ocean mussels but from ponds and river mussels too. They then practically performed the whole pearl research and production and named their organisation Indian Pearl farming formed on 1st May 2001 to promote pearl culture throughout India.
They always say, why buy pearls from outside India? When you can grow it at your home!.
Process of Growing Pearl
With hardcore research, they both found that mussels can be found anywhere, and we can produce pearls everywhere except in cold regions because of small mussels. Thus, It rarely grows in winters, so summers are preferred. Mr. Ashok and Mrs. Kulanjan produce pearls without killing the mussel. They wait for the mussel to die and then perform an operation to take the beautiful pearls out of it. They can grow around six pearls in one mussel.
They produce both cultured and natural pearls. It takes around one to one and a half years for a mussel to produce pearls, whereas, in MP and Gujrat, the pearl can grow within eight months to one year because of its good quality mussel. They even make cultured pearls using raw material, and instead of just round shapes, they also make spiritual and other designs out of pearls.
They want youth to indulge practically in the fieldwork of pearl farming rather than just learning it theoretically. They have a team of around fifty people whom they are providing employment. Its investment is also less as the two pearls production on one seap will cost around fifty to sixty rupees, and it will get ready within one and a half years to two years. Further, you can earn a profit of rupees three hundred to three thousand if you sell it depending upon its quality.
Flourishing pearl farming education
They provide training to people and students who want to learn pearl framing. They teach the process of making pearls practically on the field. Also, they do campaigns and take sessions on integrated and pearl farming all over India, including schools and colleges. They do research, production and training altogether at Indian Pearl Culture.
Students from the field of zoology, agriculture can do it practically to promote pearl farming in India. They only train people who want to do pearl farming by themselves on the field and not just those who want profit by making it a business. They have searched for mussels from almost eighteen cities in India like Maharashtra, Begusarai, etc.
If people study through their ways, they never have to waste their twenty years in research as they have already done it in every city. Both of them know where the good mussels are found for pearl production. They want to spread the same education of pearl farming everywhere for free.
Struggles they faced during pearl farming.
Previously, Mr Ashok did mushroom farming and learned farming techniques through the window of the library in Akola. He bought machines and even invested money from his pocket to spread pearl culture. He and his wife used to walk two to three kilometres for pearl farming. They ate a single dish, lemon rice in Bangalore, for about one and a half years in every meal. They did all the hard work to promote Indian Pearl culture.
They did not have any land or good money to invest. They did everything on their own. At that time, they used to go everywhere whosoever called them for pearl farming, but, now, after years, they receive more than three hundred calls and can only receive around eight. It is the struggle that made them promote Indian Pearl culture across India. They have set up their biggest pearl farming project in Banaras. Also, multiple projects are running now, one of which is set up in Gujrat. Even being from different fields, they did best in farming.
The invention of mussel opening instrument
Mr Ashok invented his mussel opening instruments for taking out pearls without killing the mussel. Mrs Kulanjan even received the National Award for inventing this magical instrument with her husband. They both got married with the money that they received through awards. With the help of this inventory, they can open even the smallest seap without killing it.
So, he invented the machine that can even see pearls before its production without harming or killing them on a minimum budget. After this, the government sent them to different places as science lecturers for training people. Till now, they have trained almost thirty thousand people in pearl farming. The government supported them to a great level. They also declared a fifty per cent subsidy in news channels with the government’s help.
Their main motive is to expand Indian Pearl Culture across India. Mussels have different names in various cities of India, and they want the people of India to grow pearls in their own country. Adding more enthusiastic and dedicated members to their team of people is their mission. They have started registrations for Uttar Pradesh Pearl Unit, Gujrat Pearl Unit, Rajasthan Pearl Unit and more to expand Indian Pearl farming in India. Also, they are running a project of almost one lakh pearls in two ponds.
They want people to work for and on their own. They want to share their knowledge with them. Their dream is to promote pearl farming in India at a greater level. They even promote integrated farming rather than just pearl farming. It is a great option for business. People can do multiple farming with pearl farming.
Making handicrafts using leftover seaps is also a trading culture they both are obtaining. The shells are used as diyas for lighting even during historical times that they are still promoting today. We can eat pearls, and even its powder is used in making makeup products. They are sharing immense knowledge with us that everyone rarely knows. With this, their main USP is
They can leave mussels, but never kill mussels!.