India Interior

The goat ATMs of Badaun empower women

Usha Rai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 07, 2016

Rearing life Women call these goats their kachchi chandi or raw silver, because they ensure good returns

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In Uttar Pradesh, women find their calling in rearing small livestock

The ten women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) or samoohs of Naithu village of Badaun, Uttar Pradesh are doing such good business in goat rearing that they call them their ATM cards.

The 120 women of these samoohs were not affluent enough to buy buffaloes and cows despite the loans available, so they settled for rearing goats, paying ₹4,000 to₹5,000 for each, and at one-fourth the price if it is a kid.

Ruksana recalls that all 10 members of Bismillah Samooh went to the Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana (RGMVP) for training in goat rearing in 2014.

They got a revolving fund of ₹15,000 for starting their business. Ruksana purchased a goat for ₹5,000. Each goat produces two kids in a year, and in two years she sold four kids for ₹22,000.

A large chunk of this money was reinvested in buying six kids and around Bakhri-Eid when there is a demand for kids they are taken to the famous 50-year-old Alakpur market where traders come from Mumbai and Delhi and buy the fattened calves.Feeding the goats is not a problem in Badaun. Since most families have some agricultural fields they feed them wheat, maize and residue of crops. All 10 members of the Bismillah samooh are into goat rearing. Their men accompany the women to buy and sell the goats and negotiateprices. The responsibility of rearing the goats, including seeking veterinary help when they fall ill, is left to the women and children. Ruksana is planning to be a goat veterinarian, training with the vet at Jaish in Rai Bareilly, so that she can look after the goats in her village, as well as add to her income. Medical expenses can be a drain on the goat rearing occupation.

Like Ruksana, another woman of Saraswati samooh in Thaliya Nagla village bought six kids for ₹15,000 and two male goats for ₹5,000 and ₹10,000. Come Bakhri-Eid in 2017, she expects to get a return of ₹80,000 on her ₹30,000 investment. They call these goats their kachchi chandi or raw silver, because they ensure good returns.

The price of goat milk is ₹100 a litre even in these villages and in the monsoon season, when there is a spurt in dengue, it goes up to ₹600 a litre because goat milk is used to counter dengue.

The women know how to weigh the goats and work out the value of each goat. Most women keep the barbari goats, which are white with black spots and have small ears. It is a variety that produces two kids a year and gives more milk than other varieties of goats.

The other popular variety is the totapari bakri, the royal breed among goats. They are pampered, kept in air-conditioned rooms, made to sit on cots and fed milk and jalebis.

This year, from an adjoining village of the block, a pair of totaparis was sold for ₹7 lakhs. People from near and far came to see the beautiful specimens of the totapari.

For the owner it was a good Eid.

The writer is a senior journalist based in New Delhi

Published on October 07, 2016
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