Syed Ghani Khan is a 38-year-old agriculturist who belongs to Kirugavalu village of Mandya, Karnataka. Kirugavalu means watch place and was so named because it was where the arrival of the British soldiers was announced to Tipu Sultan, the King of Mysore. Historical records show that Tipu Sultan gave away parcels of land to the villagers of Kirugavalu for farming and other activities. Shri Ghani Khans ancestors received their land from Tipu Sultan too. They named it Bada Bagh or Big Orchard.
Initially, Shri Ghani Khan had no interest in farming; He had planned to study B. Com. at Mysore and then take up a job so he could migrate to the city like many other young people from rural backgrounds. However, due to his fathers illness and the fact that he was the eldest son in the family, he had to discontinue his studies and return to his village. He took up farming and joined a part time degree course, where he majored in anthropology and history.