ANANTAPUR: Scores of farmers in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh are suddenly on a diamond hunt in their farm lands after one of them stumbled on a precious jewel and made some instant fortune. It all started after a farmer in Bathelepalli village in the district found a diamond while ploughing his farm land after a heavy rain.
The worth of the precious stone was estimated to be well over Rs one crore. But even before the reality sank in, the dumbstruck farmer rushed to the nearby Gooty city along with two of his friends with the hope of trading it there. Exploiting his desperation to quickly make money out of it, a local trader acquired the costly diamond by paying the farmer only Rs 30 lakh.
With the news spreading like a wildfire, people in many villages began digging up their farm fields, sparking a spree of mad diamond hunt across the district. Young and old are spending endless hours scanning every inch of their lands and digging up the earth at several places as farming clearly took a backseat.
In fact, people giving up farming for an obsessed diamond hunt is not a new phenomenon in Andhra Pradesh. In several places that are popularly believed to be diamond-rich, farming families are seen engaged in digging-activity at the beginning of the rainy season. A few of them end up pocketing some stones while many return empty-hand at the end of the excavation escapades. But the irrepressible desire to find diamonds in their farm lands returns to their minds every year.