Dairy Project, Emmanuel Leprosy Colony, Katrapalli, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh
This is a group of 10 men, elderly or in their late-middle age, most of them with mild to moderate deformities, who have worked diligentlyin the past three years to transform their lives by jointly establishing what is now a thriving dairy business based within Emanuel, their leprosy colony.
Previously dependent on begging and a paltry pension of INR 1000 for the leprosy-affected by the government, motivated by S-ILF these men took on the challenge to bring about a positive change in their lives. Despite no prior experience in dairy farming, the group decided to buy five healthy buffalos with funding from S-ILF. Since then, they have demonstrated a keen business acumen and entrepreneurship, working cohesively with their group members, adhering to the pre-agreed business plan and guidelines by S-ILF.
A few of the group members have attended training sessions by S-ILF to develop business management skills and effectively shared their learnings with the group. Having made sufficient profits, the group is now aspiring to use part of the income to buy 2-3 more animals. Every month, each member receives around INR 700-1500 after paying the overhead costs of maintaining the animals. The group manages the dairy business in a disciplined manner. Their cowshed is always well maintained. The men buy fodder in bulk and in addition, the animals feed on fresh cereal that costs approximately INR 50 per day. The buffalos yield 15-20 liters milk every day which is sold at a price of INR 35 per liter. While the group members take care of the buffalos, the milk is collected by the dairy farm staff, who are hired by them to milk the buffalos as well. They have insured their buffalos and ensure timely health checks and vaccinations for the animals. This initiative has helped the beneficiaries in spreading the message that with hard work and motivation it is possible to live a life of dignity despite all odds.