By Upadhi Gulati
Scion of a wealthy Philadelphia business family, Samuel Stokes came to India in 1904 when he was 21 to work at leprosy home near Solan (50Km from Shimla) and to spread the message of Christ.
He was increasingly influenced by Indian philosophy and culture. He gave up all material comforts and lived for sometime in cave. Stokes married to a Rajput Christian Agnes Benjamin. Later they were known as Satyanand Stokes and Priya Devi.
They had set up their home in Kotgarh where people lived in poverty and most of them were bonded labourers. After experimenting with wheat and barley, Stokes carefully studied the land and found that it was best for apple cultivation. He obtained seedlings of golden apples from U.S.A in 1919 and planted them in 200 acres of land. They bore fruits in 1925. He encouraged farmers for apple cultivation and persisted to popularise apple cultivation. In due course of time apple orchards began to come up in Kotgarh and soon the culture spread all over Shimla and beyond. It is due to the efforts of Satyanand Stokes and Priya Devi that Himachal Pradesh became an apple producing State and Kotgarh is the heart of apple industry there.
Stokes was a great admirer of Gandhji. He is the only American to have served the All India Congress Committee in the Indian National Congress. He was arrested in 1921 on charges of sedition and for promoting hatred between different classes and was imprisoned for six months, thus became the first American political prisoner in India. He finally led a Hindu way of life. He spent more than 43 years of his life in India and passed away on May 14, 1946.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
- Apple belongs to a rose family
- Apple fruit matures in autumn.
- China is the leading producer of apples. Argentina and U.S.A hold 2nd and 3rd place
- France, Italy, South Africa are among leading exporters.
- It contains generous amount of calcium, potassium, vitamin a and c and is low in sodium, fats and cholesterol.
- Peelings of apple contains significant nutritive value.
- It can cure dental disorder, eye disorder, high blood pressure, anaemia, stomach disorder etc.
- Its best to tone up a weak and run down condition of the human system
- It should be never consumed on an empty stomach; it may lead to indigestion.