The story of women empowerment through goat farming
Bina Devi Sada, 24, belongs to the Mushahar community of Gaushala Municipality-12, Mahottari. This vulnerable community has been driven by male stereotypic norms that consider women to be only bound within four walls of the house. These norms are mainly born out of ignorance and illiteracy. Mrs. Sada is also one of them to be in the norms of that community.
Mrs. Sada was born and raised in a family with soar scarcity, deprived of basic facilities like education, clean water, nutritious food. She was married to a male from Mushahar community. However, she believes intervention the project ‘Income Generation and Employment Support to abroad returnees’ worker due to COVID-19’ has obviously made a difference in the quality of life she and her family are experiencing recently.
A total of 23 households have been inhabiting in a settlement in Gaushala-12 supported by the Gaushala municipality. However, management of a regular income source to the community was a challenge. The project stepped in there. Financially supported by UNDP and Gaushala municipality, Mahottari and technically implemented by Community Development and Advocacy Forum Nepal the project has managed to improve the livelihoods of the Mushahar households in a sustainable basis. Mrs. Sada along with 22 other women have been arranged in a group and each household has been supported with four goats of improved pedigree and also a Boar he-goat for breeding. Improved goat-sheds have also been constructed scientifically to shelter the goats. In addition, the group has also been assisted with seeds and implements for vegetable farming within the community premise. Moreover, many Mushahars including Mrs. Sada have been provided with trainings on goat rearing practices and market strengthening.
Before project intervention, Mrs. Sada’s family relied on her husband’s earning from daily wage work. After the intervention, the family has diversified the source of income that includes goat rearing, vegetable farming, and daily wage working. Mrs. Sada actually is the one who takes care of the goats and the vegetable garden. She has been growing bottle gourd, pumpkin, bitter gourd, cowpea, and cucumber in 1 kattha of land. She says “Women actively getting involved in the income generation activities has led to the change in perception of our entire community towards women and gender equity. Women in our community were merely asked to do household jobs but since every woman in our community is actively involved in income generation and fetching extra income in the family, no one complains. Also, we no more ask our children to drop out of school in search of employment since we feel secured that the income from goats every year will serve as an adequate source of income until our children complete basic studies.”
Furthermore, when asked about the income source, she says “we are generating income from both labour wage and goat farming now. My husband go for labour wage and I rear goats and also do my household work. Since we do not have much land area for vegetable cultivation we are growing seasonal vegetable in 1 katha of land area for self-consumption. From goat farming, four kids have been given birth by two goats and two goat are still pregnant. Even if one kid gets sold at NRS. 6000, we earned NRs. 24000 only this season.
Author: Sunil Kumar Yadav