Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Women's Empowerment through Backyard Poultry Farming

 Nilesh Desai and his NGO Sampark have brought about a small revolution in Jhabua district by facilitating Bhil Adivasi Women to become successful backyard poultry farmers in association with The Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed).  This video shows how vaccinating poultry has empowered Bhil women. The video was recorded in an area that educates poultry keepers about a vaccine that protects against the highly contagious and lethal poultry disease – Newcastle Disease (ND) called Ranikhet disease locally. The disease can kill up to 80-90% of a flock.
The vaccination project has seen an increase in the number of female entrepreneurs in the region since vaccination began. Dhani Bai, an ND vaccinator and poultry keeper, has started a business as a tailor through her income selling vaccinated poultry. She also pays for her children’s education and all household financial decisions are made jointly by her and her husband.
Surti Bai Puniya Parmar of Saad Village has 2 hectares of land in which her family of five produces cotton, soyabean, moong, maize and vegetables. She owns a buffalo, two bullocks and three goats. 

When the project started she had five hens. In October 2013 she came into contact with Sampark. She took part in every activity of the project as follows –
1.      She participated in training workshops and learnt vaccination, deworming, first aid and maintenance of records in the meetings of the group for extension of poultry farming. She followed each and every guideline, due to which chickens didn’t get infected through this disease and their growth rate increased so that now she has 80 – 100 desi hen.
2.      She learnt how to make chicken feed supplements with the help of local ingredients and fed them to the chicken. As a result the hens which used to produce eggs three times per year on an average, now produce 4-5 times per year on an average.
3.      Surati Bai had decided to start a poultry farm with the local breed of Kadaknath chicken. She constructed her own 7 m x 10m  shed with  Bamboo and wood, purchased 400 chicks of Kadaknath from Krishi Vigyan Kendra and started the poultry farm in August 2014. These chicken were maintained and provided with proper vaccine, de-wormed and given first aid from time to time with the help of Murgi Sakhis with minimum expenditure as only food supplements made of local ingredients was provided. Out of 400 chicken, 20 died during transportation  and after 4 months 380 chicken had grown up to be hens of 1 - 1.5 kg. Each of these were sold for Rs 600.
4.      This tremendous success has inspired her to increase the size of her shed so as to rear 1000 chicken. Other poultry farmers of the village and nearby areas have also been enthused by her example to take up systematic poultry farming. 

The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. The World Economic Forum currently ranks India as 87 out of 144 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index, which considers economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, political empowerment. India’s ranking has improved from 98th place out of 115 countries in 2006. Thus, this vaccination project has made a significant contribution in women's empowerment towards reducing this vast gender gap. SAMPARK has sold 1 million doses of the ND vaccine. The vaccine costs roughly US 3 cents per dose once a quarter. The cheapness of the vaccine and the effectiveness of the women's groups that have spread the vaccination process has resulted in the programme expanding to 330 villages benefiting 30,000 households who are engaged in backyard poultry as diseases and mortality of the birds were drastically reduced. The success of the programme in increasing the incomes of the households was also reflected in their willingness to pay for the services of the vaccinators and dewormers and so they too were able to earn enhanced incomes.

1 comment:

Nogi said...

Way to go! Grassroots will need to take care of itself.....