This is the story of my life. My name is Usha Singh and I’m the resident of Rath. I ventured on this journey when there were financial constraints in my family and economic stability was the need of the hour. I always had a deep regret that I could not take up further studies after completing 12th. But I had made up my mind that no matter what comes, I’ll strive hard and give the best possible education for my children. It was the year of 1995-96, when my husband and I, Rajendra Singh, decided to raise a desi cow, which will help in providing the right amount of nutrients to our children as well as generate a certain amount of income. Gradually, after gaining some information from various sources, we decided to cross breed three different species of indigenous cows. And hence our dairy became a home for 18-20 animals. We had primarily achieved in cross breeding recent species of Holstein Friesian, Sahiwal, and Jersey cows. They started to produce about 100 liters of milk which proved beneficial for the people of the town. Adding to our advantage, since our dairy was in the town, we had no problem in selling the milk. A very important aspect of running a dairy successfully is to win the trust of the customer, maintain that trust and understand their needs. Through our commitment and perseverance, we have garnered a lot of customers who have been visiting us for the last 5-7 years, and who are still regular customers. The income from the dairy is 70 thousand rupees and we end up saving approximately 45-50 thousand rupees.

Since I had no prior experience in this field, I started collecting information about the diseases and their treatment in animals through various magazines and veterinary doctors. Apart from this, my husband and I went to The National Dairy Research Institute in Karnal, Haryana and Indian Council of Agriculture Research Center and took detailed information and training. It took a lot of effort to take care of the animals, as our cows belong to a special kind of species. We took utmost care with respect to cleanliness and hygiene. Apart from this, we provided a diet rich in calcium and minerals, as it is very important for the healthy milking of the animals. Throughout the entire journey, my husband and I tried our best to keep up our vows to walk shoulder to shoulder and to constantly learn from one another. We looked up to each other’s perseverance and dedication and never belittled any one’s efforts. As a result of a lot of patience, hard work and consistent efforts, our dairy began to run successfully. Seeing both our children pursuing their education in reputed institutions, gave us immense pleasure and we had a deep sense of satisfaction that our efforts proved to be fruitful.

Along with this, we continued to get the cooperation of many other people on many occasions. Family members, women workers, veterinary doctors etc. have helped a lot in making this process a reality with their significant time, energy, and contributions, like a single family. Along with animal husbandry, we used animal manure as vermicompost many times. Apart from this, gobar gas plant is also another option which is under consideration.

Farming and animal husbandry complement each other. Agriculture is the main means of livelihood in Bundelkhand. In order to get rid of economic problems, adopting the means of animal husbandry is of vital importance as this area is facing the problem of migration. Chaff, oil cake, and fodder for the animals can be easily available to the farmers through agriculture. On the other hand, animal dung can be used as manure/vermicompost.

After almost 25 years of continuous effort, now that this recognition has been received, in such a situation, many times people ask what role animal husbandry plays in empowering women. I just want to say that women empowerment is a process not an event. For this, it is necessary that both the individual and the community can increase their self-esteem, a proper assessment of their worth, and growth in all aspects of life. The beginning of this process for me started on the day I decided to give financial support to my family.

In view of today’s social conditions, it has become very necessary for a woman to be financially self-sufficient. In today’s era when the Indian government is expressing commitment towards women empowerment, it is very important to reiterate that women empowerment should not just remain on paper, but simultaneously economic, social and political aspects should be carried forward, so that women can become powerful and empowered in the true sense of the term.

1 Comment

  1. Supriya

    Amazing and inspirational. The efforts are process as well as culmination of empowerment and upliftment a woman brings to herself, her family and to the society. the persistence and hardwork is commendable. Congratulations USHA ji.


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