Ushering the Change from Debt Ridden Communities to Sustainable Livelihood
Animal Husbandry and Dairy Cooperatives

Earlier, the women’s approach to animal husbandry was casual, doba palava na, the chore was seen as ‘looking after these dumb animals’. Aatapi’s first step was to acquaint them with ideal practices for Animal Husbandry. This enabled the shift from a casual to a business approach. A five day training module and follow- up sessions with members of SHGs was conducted to improve and correct current practices. The shift in practices led to a change in attitude towards cattle care. Women realised the potential of dairy as a significant source of income. Increased milk yields encouraged them to invest in more buffaloes. Low interest loans were facilitated by Aatapi through their SHGs and link with Joint Liability Scheme through the local branch of Bank of Baroda.

Quick to learn the women observed that by adopting scientific practices milk yields were increasing but returns were not growing significantly. The 44 private dairies in 4 villages, and not so effective management of cooperative dairies was responsible for this. It was time to write their story anew.

Exposure trips– seeing the success of other women motivated them to start their own dairy. Better earnings, greater independence and transparency in management of the dairy, doorstep services, time saving- the advantages were multiple. Under immense social and political pressure the once docile women stood their ground and applied for their own women’s dairy. Thus, on 4th March 2014, emerged the first women’s dairy – The Kamboya Waga Mahila Dudh Utpadak Sahakari Mandli Limited. This successful first paved way for the formation of three more dairies. Kamboya Waga Mahila Dudh Utpadak Sahakari Mandli became a source of inspiration for women in other villages to form their own women run cooperative dairies.

Women’s leadership in the area has now moved beyond saving and credit. Over a period of seven years women have emerged as messengers of transformation ushering the change from debt ridden communities to sustainable livelihood, be it agriculture or animal husbandry.

Aatapi ensures an ongoing process of strengthening governance and systems of dairies by engaging with their Karobari Sabhya’s (managing functionaries) at regular intervals. Need based support is provided as and when the Karobari asks for it in terms of training and liaising with the district dairy.

A district level seminar on “Strengthening of Women led Milk Cooperatives” was organised by the Foundation at Bharuch, in collaboration with Bharuch Dudh Dhara Dairy and PI Foundation. A total of 89 women dairy representatives from 17 districts participated in presence of Shri M.S. Sodhi, Managing Director

Details of Dairy

Name of Dairy Village Total Members
Kamboyavaga Vedach 162
Morvaga Vedach 51
Laljipura Piludara 110
Uchhad Uchhad 140
Total 464