Two Case Studies from India

Jina Ma Pradhan, 36 years, is an illiterate Schedule Tribe (ST[1]) woman in Gassingiya village, G. Udaygiri Block (Kandhmal district, Odisha). Jina Ma, a mother of three girls, once struggled to have time with her daughters since she was forced to spend so much time working in local rice paddies to make her family’s ends meet.  But when she got a small loan from Bandana SHG through the CARE Pathways Project, she was able to add an improved breed called “Ganjam Goat” to her small mob. She improved production through CARE India Pathways Project Livestock Management training modules & vaccination camp, and refocused her livelihood and how she spends her time. She also joined a SHG business, and she’s earning more than Rs. 3000/- per month from the Goatery, which makes a tremendous difference in her quality of life. “Now I’m able to spend more time with my daughters, and make sure they grow up right. And I don’t have to beg from anyone to achieve my dreams.”

Jina Ma said that she felt empowered by sustaining and expending the goat farm.

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Hemlatha, an ST woman about 39 years of age, has never had any formal education.  Married at 17 to a farmer, they managed to earn about Rs. 2000/- per month living in Dodapada village, G. Udaygiri Block.  With two young children, their living condition is poor.  For a long time, Hemlatha was doing all the domestic and agricultural work with little help from her husband.

But in 2013, Hemlatha got involved with the CARE India Pathways project and was engaged in Kitchen Garden development, workload sharing activities, and men and boys engagement processes.  Her husband joined her in some of the training sessions.  Since the training, Hemlatha’s husband joins her in domestic work and helps tend the kitchen garden.  These days, Hemlatha’s husband helps with daily household tasks, including cooking while Hemlatha attends Self Help Group meetings in the evening

Hemlatha has added Rs. 750/- per month to her family income by selling the vegetables she grows on a small piece of land.  In matters of household decision making, Hemlatha still defers to her husband which indicates the process of bringing change in social norms is extremely slow and the team is working on this to expedite the process.

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Photos, by Pathways India’s research intern Eliza Cowan, are only representative of the women described.

[1] Scheduled Tribes are a substantial indigenous minority, entitled to certain affirmative actions under the Indian constitution.