Fighting Poverty in India Series: Part 6
Special to American News Report
It’s not every day that you’ll see a poor, rural Indian woman behind a power weeder or a zero tillage machine, but it’s happening now because of KindSight’s Women Farmers in India project.
The KindSight project is providing 500 women farmers with power tools, equipment, extensive training and support, and that is translating into tables full of food and considerably higher incomes.
Historically, rural Indian women have had clearly defined roles in the family, the community and on the farm.
“The men really just plow with the buffaloes, but women do everything else,” said Sumitra Devi, a farmer from the Dokri village.
You’re not the only person laughing at Sumitra’s comment. She and other women in her village are laughing… all the way to market.
One major reason why farmers in India are so poor is that they lack many skills and experience. The farming techniques used in the region are old and have been inherited from past generations, which is a big part of the problem.
“In the monsoon season they used to grow maize and all these things. There has been no tradition of cultivation of high valued vegetables like tomato, chili and eggplants,” said Pranjal Saikia who is working as a team leader on the project.
“We’ve learned new technologies and methods involved in vegetable cultivation,” said Mina Devi another farmer participating in the KindSight project. “We’ve learned about the use of the polyhouse and making compost and trenches. Previously we used to not maintain proper planting spaces in our garden. Now we’re following these methods,” Mina added.
The tools, equipment and training are paying off.
For Chatri Devi, a 45-year-old mother from the Barmaisia village, she went from being a hired hand struggling to put food on the table, to proudly saying, “I didn’t believe that people could earn so much money through vegetable farming, but after I had the success that I did, I can tell you it’s possible!”
She’s now dreaming of buying more land to build a house – something she never would have been able to entertain before the KindSight project.
Sumitra’s dreaming a similar dream. “I’d like to build another house for one of my sons,” she said.
Mina’s using some of her extra income to send her children to private school.
KindSight’s Women Farmers in India project is helping many more women lift themselves out of poverty and start building a future for their families.
Editor’s Note: If you want to support KindSight projects, a generous donor is giving $20 to each person who signs up at www.myKindSight.org to donate to whatever part of the project you choose.
Read other articles in American News Report’s Fighting Poverty in India Series.
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