Lalita was born in the small village of Sirsala in the Manawar tehsil of Dhar, Madhya Pradesh. And even though her parents, late Shankarlal Patidar and mother Shakuntalabai Patidar were farmers by profession, she was never forced to follow in their footsteps. Instead, they encouraged her to pursue her education.
At the age of 19, Lalita was married to Suresh Chandra Mukati. When she expressed a desire to study beyond class 12 at her marital home, her late father-in-law, a champion of women’s education, enrolled her in the open university where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Arts.
This was the same man, who at the age of 25, had given up all the gold in the household for the soldiers fighting the Indo-China war, recalls Lalita.
And while her degree in arts may have little to do with the agricultural field, she is an award-winning organic farmer, who apart from handling the day-to-day activities of her own farm, has also formed an association of 21 women to promote the boons of chemical-free farming.
Situated in the Borlai village of Barwani district, she has freed over 36 acres of farmland from the clutches of chemical pesticides, where she grows all kinds of crops, ranging from amla, custard apple, banana, lemon, maize, cotton, wheat, soybean, chickpea, sapota, etc.