-penned by our board member, Mrs Alo Pal

One of the most profitable business plans in our Social Entrepreneurship Programme for Women is a loan for purchasing a cow. Usually, they are pregnant or recently delivered and income from milk production is almost instantaneous and steady. A cow however requires constant and close upkeep. Feed, disease, vaccinations, pregnancy, and health are integral to animal rearing.

During outreach, it emerged that our women though didn’t master many of these aspects and our social workers felt that there was a need for some basic orientation in animal husbandry. Death of the animal is always an eventual possibility the absence of an insurance policy meant that our beneficiaries found themselves in immediate debt with the means of income gone.

Since the past year, Prakash and Lakshmi from Sharana have established a rapport with a local veterinary hospital to help to meet this need and on Friday morning Sharana organized an awareness camp for cow and goat herders in Angalakuppam in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu Government Animal Husbandry Department.

Two important schemes offered by the govt were implemented and explained in detail among other activities. A subsidized insurance scheme – a premium of 300 borne by the owner and an equal amount paid by the government, as opposed to up to 3000 from private insurers for an amount of Rs.30.000/- in case of death of the animal, second, up to 3 Artificial inseminations (AI) procedures per animal. So far, all AIs were performed by private veterinarians at a price.

The camp in numbers and activity

  • -Number of participants – 100+ adults
  • -Insured Cows – 19(done in collaboration with the department in July 2021)
  • -Artificial Inseminations – 21
  • -General Health Checkup – 36
  • -Foot and Mouth Disease awareness (yearly two free vaccinations will be given in the years to follow)
  • -Deworming- 76
  • -Awareness in monitoring heat and basic diseases
  • -Nutritional Dos and Donts
  • -Awareness of the availability of feed supplements at subsidized rates
  • -Points of contact intimated
  • -Distribution of mineral mixture supplements, and salt blocks for adequate and balanced nutrition of cattle
  • -Nutritional tips with indigenous supplements for fertility issues

In total over 250 cattle received support in this camp. Some of these cattle could not come into the camp, however, their owners came and got the needful advice and medication for them from the doctors. These cattle were from the village of Angalakuppam and surrounding villages.

The camp began with a welcome note from the Sharana staff, followed by an interactive awareness session by an assistant professor in Veterinary sciences, where everyone got to ask questions and clear their doubts. At the end of the camp, all the dignitaries honored each other by offering shawls to one another.

The Panchayat Head, as well as the Village Chief, also attended the camp for some time.

From the Department of Animal Husbandry, there were also three recipients each in three award categories, Best Cattle, Best Calf, and Best Agricultural Practices. The village members received these awards proudly!

The camp was a success and Sharana wishes to thank members of the Tamil Nadu Animal Husbandry Department for their help, inputs, and useful edification.  Our beneficiaries feel more accompanied and empowered than ever. Sharana intends to maintain and collaborate more with the Animal Husbandry Department in the future so that this business model gives more dividends to our beneficiaries.