Vidya Devi - What a Cow Can Do For a Family
Vidya Devi is a 50 year old Dalit woman who lives in the Sattiwala village of Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. Her family belongs to the Chamhaar community which is primarily made up of shoemakers and leather workers. This outcaste community can barely survive with the income they bring in.
Vidya Devi has a husband who is a paralytic and three children. Her eldest son migrated with his family to a nearby city and is working there as a daily wage labourer. She also has two daughters who are both of marriageable age. The elder daughter had to leave her job stitching clothes for a tailor because he didn’t pay her enough. She began working with her mother as a daily wage agricultural labourer. Together they earned about 60 to 70 rupees per day. Unfortunately, this work was not always available, so it became very difficult for their family to survive.
Because this family expressed interest in having an alternative livelihood, they became one of the beneficiaries to receive a cow from HCC. They were fortunate to get a cow which was about to deliver a calf; and, within one month after the purchase, the cow delivered a healthy calf. These days, the cow gives about 6 litres of milk a day. Vidya Devi is able to sell this milk to the villagers and is able to earn almost 70 rupees per day. This provides their family with a regular income and alleviates the stress of thinking about how they are going to buy the next meal.
Vidya Devi has been able to send her youngest daughter to take a short-term course in evangelism and is also able to partially support her daughter in school. She hopes that in the days to come she will be able to save some money for the marriage of her daughters.
She and her family express heartfelt thanks to those who helped make this provision for them and who have helped change her family’s life.