Improvement in Socio-economic Status
Women engaged in unpaid farming activities in their small patches of land got together to form farmers collective in 15 villages falling under three blocks of Pithoragarh district under the project supported by Action Aid and Orcale. During a span of one year, the women have been able to assert their rights to a dignified life and livelihood.
One amongst them is Geeta (32 years) from Deval village. She comes from a below poverty line family, husband is a daily wage labour. They have four children, ranging from seven years to 15 years (all going to school). She herself has studied till 8th class. The family owns 1 acre land, they grows rice and wheat, which is just sufficient for 3 to 4 months. They have a cow and four goats. Cow milk is for home consumption.
Geeta joint the Dalit women farmers collective some 10 months back. The collective has 20 women and she has been appointed as treasurer of the group. The support extended through the project has changed her outlook towards life and improved her social and economic status within her home and in the village as a whole.
She opted for vegetable cultivation and received seeds of coriander (250 g), spinach (100 g), radish (100 g), mustard (50 g) and onion (100 g) for her plot of land. The total support cost of the seeds was Rs. 194. She earned (direct income) Rs. 1,600 from the harvest she sold. She says, “This is my direct income, indirect is more. We (family) ate fresh vegetables from our kitchen garden.”
Two women from the village collective – Anita and Janki – are landless. Geeta gave them some land to grow vegetables and they too earned Rs. 830 and Rs. 800, respectively. To sum up the three farmers grew vegetables of average Rs. 2,000 to 2,500 in a season.