Mornings are always a bustling affair at Vasantha Kumari’s house; she is busy in her cowshed milking the cows while her husband, Chalapathi, is tranhsferring the milk into containers for distribution.
Vasantha Kumari and her husband live in Mylepalli, a rural village in Anantapur, along with their three children. The villagers, especially women, look up to Vasantha Kumari and the life she has built for herself and her family.
Married at a very young age, Vasantha Kumari and her husband have worked rather hard as daily wage labourers trying to make ends meet, but the wages they earned were not enough to meet all the expenses, especially with children’s education at stake; they decided to venture out of their village in search of better wages. Five years ago, they migrated to Bangalore, like many others in their village, looking for better opportunities.
The couple worked at a poultry farm, leaving their 2-year-old daughter with their parents. Besides getting paid more than in the village, the amount of work and the working conditions were rather challenging for them.
They decided to return to their village, as RDT provided them with housing. She also received a loan from RDT’s Women Development Fund, with which she bought a cow and started her dairy business. She saved up some of the income she received from selling the milk and bought another cow. She also received monetary support from the women-to-women program, with which she purchased another cow and later bought two more with her own savings.
Today, Vasantha Kumari and her husband are full-time dairy farmers, and they own six cows, three of which RDT provided support for. They sell 80 litres of milk per day in and around their villages, providing them with a steady income.
She plans to buy four more cows, thus increasing her income and securing a better future for her children, where she can provide them with quality education and opportunities that she once missed.
“RDT has helped me and many women in our village, helping us understand how to navigate the world by realising our opportunities and potential. I am not dependent on anyone now, and I’m determined to improve on my terms, utilising the chances well,” says Vasantha Kumari, walking towards the cowshed.
She is also among the 32 women in her village who have received milch cattle as part of RDT’s Women Dairy Program.
To Learn More about the Income Generation Programmes under our Women Empowerment Sector – CLICK HERE!
Text and Images: Riya John Richard