Goat Rearing – Jahajpadia Colony, Belpahar, Odisha
The 13 members of this group were all dependent on begging for their survival. In March 2012, S-ILF provided funds for the purchase of goats. In the two and a half years since, this group has through their dedication and hard work, made a great success of this opportunity. Not only have they increased the number of livestock from 39 to 60 but, in the intervening period they have also sold goats to earn a decent and stable income. They have learnt to manage the enterprise such that they have a steady income from the sale of goats – a remarkable achievement for a group which had no prior experience in this field. The striking feature of this group is the trust and understanding amongst each other. As a result they work well as a group and have been able to contribute regularly to the revolving fund from their savings. These contributions are now being used to support livelihood initiatives of other members of the colony. Today all the beneficiaries have become active role models for their community, providing constant motivation and guidance to their fellow members. Drawing from their guidance, other leprosy affected people in the colony have ventured into other forms of livelihood like running a mini bus service for school children, pig rearing and agriculture-based initiatives. Today, we see budding entrepreneurial skills that are now being utilized in various ways, with moral support and inspiration from these beneficiaries.
The dignity and economic success has brought with it a general sense of awareness of better standards of living in the community.
There is a distinct change in the colony infrastructure in the form of cemented pavements, boundary walls, clean drinking water, kitchen gardens, neat houses and ‘earning’ families. Unity among themselves has given them the confidence to approach the civic authorities for the provision of basic services. The Colony Leader, the community and the mentor all believe that the trigger for this remarkable positive change is this economic initiative.