Solan, April 17
Efficient livestock management has helped rural women in non-descript villages of Rajgarh subdivision of Sirmaur to enhance their income.
Grihani ki Gaushala, an initiative of Rajgarh development block, has helped construct cowsheds for rural women, who had no other source of income. Women in 33 panchayats of Rajgarh have been provided with cowsheds designed keeping in mind various aspects such as health of the livestock and waste management.
The initiative, which kick-started in August 2021, has helped raise the income of women through the sale of milk and milk products such as butter. The higher sales have also helped women purchase more cows to further enhance their income.
Cowsheds for rural women
- Grihani ki Gaushala, an initiative taken by Rajgarh development block, has helped construct cowsheds for rural women, who had no other source of income.
- Women in 33 panchayats of Rajgarh have been provided with cowsheds designed keeping in mind various aspects such as the health of the livestock and waste management.
Rajgarh Block Development Officer Arvind Guleria, who initiated the move, says, “The average landholding in Himachal is one hectare. To enhance farm income in rural areas, diversification is the key and one such scheme, Grihini ki Gaushala, which was floated in 2021, has brought a big change in the lives of rural women of Rajgarh. As many as 900 women have been provided with cowsheds in Rajgarh block.
The income of Palka Devi of Bhanat panchayat, who has availed of the benefit, has increased from Rs 2,500 to Rs 10,000 per month through the sale of dairy products.
Another beneficiary Sarla Devi of Bhuria panchayat now owns four cows after a cowshed having all facilities was provided to her. This has helped her increase farm income from Rs 4,000 to Rs 15,000 per month.
Labourers under the MGNREGA have helped in constructing 450 cowsheds. “Over 9,000 cowsheds have been sanctioned and we took it as a mission to help ameliorate the lot of rural women”.
“An effort was made to select women, who have no other source of income and are the sole earning member of the family, including those from below poverty line and widows,” says Guleria, who was keen to bring about a change in the lives of rural women.
A cowshed of 18×14 feet has been constructed on the land owned by them. As an added advantage, each woman was asked to adopt a stray animal and this has also helped provide shelter to many such animals.