“Being financially independent has brought about a marked change in my personality. I feel more confident and happy with myself for being able to earn a livelihood solely based on my own capability. This change has positively impacted my family as I am able to contribute for my family’s financial needs. I am also able to fulfil my personal needs and wishes without having to depend on anyone.’’
Kulwinder Kaur, woman dairy farmer, Moga district, Punjab.
Kulwinder’s initial days as a housewife was like most other women in her community in the Moga district of Punjab. A day in her life would start with waking up early, cleaning and feeding the cattle, cooking and cleaning the house, sending children to school and spending the rest of the day doing other household chores. Kulwinder had to quit her studies early due to financial constraints, got married early and became a mother at a very early age.
The year 2008 brought about a huge change in her life. Kulwinder would often hear women in the neighbourhood discussing about how they had been able to set up a small business with their own earnings by utilising knowledge on cattle breeding and milk production. This proposition excited Kulwinder as earning a livelihood out of something which she had been doing on a daily basis over the years seemed like a dream come true.
Since the idea of doing business with chores that formed part of the routine household responsibilities was comparatively a new concept. Kulwinder took a while to come forward and explore something which was unknown. She also engaged with her family members and counselled them to help gather the necessary support. After much struggle, Kulwinder was finally able to enroll herself for the Village Women Dairy Development Programme to build a more independent and secure future for herself.
Over the years, this programme has helped Kulwinder become an expert in good milking practices and cattle-care and she has harnessed her entrepreneurial spirit to create an identity of her own. She engages with agronomists and veterinarians for technical training and assistance on improving the quality and productivity of milk by taking adequate care, selection of proper feed and hygiene for the cattle. She has also learnt about sustainable agricultural practices and water conservation to cultivate a greener tomorrow. This technical training coupled with awareness on personal health and hygiene has helped foster all-round development in Kulwinder. She is now a breadwinner for her family and encourages other women to come forward and pursue their dreams and aspirations of living a better and happier life.
Fostering women entrepreneurs
The Village Women Dairy Development Programme has been a game changer for the lives of women in Moga. Not only are they being educated and trained in good milking practices and cattle-care, this programme is also helping them harness their entrepreneurial spirit to create an identity of their own.
Nestlé India has trained over 66,000 women dairy farmers till date to foster a better tomorrow for them.