50 crore as compensation. “We are planning to re-invest this money and buy land elsewhere,” says Rakesh, dressed impeccably in a blue check-shirt and tight jeans, proudly describing himself as “tenth fail”.
The SBI branch has seen business rise ten-fold in the last one month. “In comparison to Rs 8-10 lakh of transactions that we did daily, the numbers have gone above a crore now,” says Nikhil Anand, manager of this SBI branch which has been operating in this village for 39 years and now finds itself busy.
“In the last one month, we have opened 100 new accounts and have got Rs 300 crore as deposits in our branch,” says Anand who credits the inflow of the money to the transactions between the farmers and the state government. The influx of wealth has forced the bank to double its employee strength from the earlier four persons (including the manager).
The wealth in the village has also drawn private bankers. “Please invest at least one crore in our bank. We will meet you on our way back,” says Sachin Khurana, branch head of Axis Bank in Sanand while trying to convince a group of farmers. “We are here to see if we could get some business,” said Khurana who was in the village with a car full of team members scouting for possible investors.
Ashwin Barot, a Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) agent, travelled 100 kilometers from Anand district looking for clients. “I heard about this village and thought of selling some policies,” said Barot.
“Over 450 families, with about 1000 farmers, have benefitted from this land acquisition. Now-a-days a number of us keep our cellphones switched off as these banks and agents keep calling us,” says Hari Jadhav, a village elder who sold 40 of the 100 vighas owned by his family where farmers traditionally grew rice, wheat, cotton and castor.
Relaxing on a bench, smoking a pipe outside the village temple is Dilipsinh Jadhav who has sold half of the 30 vighas that he owns. “Most of the farmers in this village have become crorepatis after their land was acquired by the state. People are