Women in Bihar have served the cooperative milk movement with sincerity and sweat that brought success to both sides. Women associated with Sudha Dairy have a story to tell about how transformation took place in their personal and family lives while the dairy walks on path of success.
A standing example of transformation emanates from the narration of Sharda Devi. She is the President of Madhurapur Women Cooperative and often travels to attend National Dairy Development Board meetings. She joined the co-operative dairy movement at a young age and dedicatedly worked over last three decades to improve milk productivity. Sharda Devi who is now middle aged, manages an income of INR 15,000 – 18,000 per month in her rural settings. This affords her financial stability. Though it may seem meagre if compared to salary of corporate India, the indication of the benefits she has derived from this is reflected in the successes achieved by her son and daughter in their professional careers. Her son has landed a decent job in the hotel industry and her daughter happens to be a part of the CISF team on a Deputation posting in Delhi.
Sharda Devi in her endorsement statement said, “A mother’s best gift to her children can be none other than education. I was able to educate my children only because of the regular income that I have been receiving from Sudha Dairy. It was not just the milk we were selling, but also other value added dairy products that augmented our income. It was instrumental in ushering in stability in our lives. Though we are not rich, I am a happy mother content with the progress my children have made in their careers.”
Yet another inspiring story unravels from the narrative of Madhuri Devi who is also in her post forties and dedicatedly working for over three decades. Her struggle began when in 1985 she decided to opt for training in animal insemination. Considering the prevailing socio-cultural situation at that time, her decision created uproar in the village. Even her family members were very upset with her decision. She had bravely countered and overcame the social odds and underwent 4-week training from a centre at Siliguri far away from her home.
“When I started out, our living conditions were very bad. In fact, my family led a hand-to-mouth existence. This was compounded by the lack of social acceptance to the decision I had made both from within and outside the family. I received relief from Sharda Devi who had assumed leadership in the cooperative movement. She took pain to explain things to my husband and it went a long way in lightening my burdens. After my training, I worked on raising cattle fertility in our villages and that helped many cattle owners. Subsequently, I also earned good money from animal insemination,” narrated Madhuri Devi.
“My work has facilitated me to lead an economically stable family life and has also given me a sense of achievement as well as satisfaction,” she concluded.