Haji Kalimullah Khan, popularly known as Mango man, has developed two new hybrids of mangoes and named them after actor Sushmita Sen and Union Minister Amit Shah.
The two new varieties have been christened ‘Sushmita Aam’ and ‘Amit Shah Aam’ and have been grown and cultivated at his orchard in Malihabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Previously Khan also introduced mangoes with the names 'Aishwarya Aam', 'Sachin Aam' and also 'NaMo Aam' after PM Narendra Modi.
“I had first named 'Aishwarya Aam' after [the actor] Aishwarya Rai. But I was told about Sushmita Sen much later by someone. I want her beauty to be always in this world, but people should also remember her being a good-hearted person. That's why this mango variety was developed this time and I named it Sushmita after her,” a report by India Today quoted Khan.
Khan, however, admitted that the 'Amit Shah Aam' needed more work on its size and flavour to match the robust personality of its namesake.
“I have put in a lot of effort, soon the mango will be available to all. What is there now Its taste should be so good that people immediately say that it is indeed ‘Amit Shah’,” he said.
Who is Haji Kalimullah Khan?
Khan is India's noted mango cultivator and has been growing distinct hybrids dedicating their names to celebrated public figures, politicians and celebrities.
A native of Lucknow, Khan has grown over 1600 mangoes on his eight acres of land.
At 82, Khan has a 180-year-old mango tree on his farm along with 30 varieties of mangoes depending on their smell, size, texture and colour.
Born and brought up in Malihabad, a small town in Uttar Pradesh, Khan belongs to a family that has been growing mango trees for decades now. He studied till class 7, after which he gave up on studies and started looking after the mango orchard.
At the age of 17, he grew his first mango and since then he has been growing varieties of mangoes.
Speaking to NDTV, he said, "I dedicate the names of mangoes to only those who I feel are doing great in their field of work. I named two hybrids after the two of the most popular actresses Aishwarya and Nargis known for their beauty. One mango tree is dedicated to Sachin Tendulkar as he is one of the best players in our country. I want to associate these big names with mangoes so as that these names keep shining throughout the world for their great deeds."
In 2008, Khan was awarded Padma Shri because of his contributions to the field of horticulture as well as his contribution to preserving and expanding the varieties of mangoes.