|Villagers bring in the day's milk to the collection centre|
This is a story of rebuilding and resurgence. In June 2013, the north Indian state of Uttarakhand nested in the Himalayas faced one of the biggest natural disasters that India has seen. Multiple cloudbursts over several days, led to devastating floods and landslides washing away entire villages, their lives and livelihoods. The Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Tehri and Pithoragarh districts were among the worst affected once. Today, just four years on, villages in these districts have not only rebuilt their homes, but also adopted a sustainable way of life with the support of Himmotthan Society, an associate organisation of Tata Trusts.
|The womenfolk play an active role in the micro dairies|
While relief work was the immediate priority for the Trusts and Himmotthan Society, a baseline survey was conducted, in around 107 villages of 8 clusters, to study the long-term needs of the villagers. One of the solutions that emerged was to develop a sustainable micro-dairy scheme through a cooperative approach.
Financial support was provided to the villagers to buy cows and set up the micro-dairies, and a plan was implemented to ensure the project becomes successful and sustainable. The plan included:
Champa Devi, who is from a disaster-affected Devar village of Guptkashi was supported by Sath Hain Hum Uttarakhand Livelihood Initiative, a post-disaster livelihood project of Himmotthan Society. She is working as a milk collector in her village. She collects 70 litres of milk every day in her village and supplies it to the dairy cooperative and earns around Rs.5,000every month.
Janki Devi of village Lumti in Dharchula cluster lost her land in the 2013 disaster which was the main source of income of her family. Uttarakhand Post Disaster Livelihood Initiative of Himmotthan Society provided her with a cow and now she is supplying 6 litres of milk every day to the dairy cooperative and earning around Rs.6,500 every month.
|Proper feeding and scientific approach has improved the health of cattle and increased milk yields|
The standard systems and procedures of dairy operation and management were put into place and it was just a matter of time before 100 disaster-affected villages in Uttarakhand participated in this project to transform their livelihood and financial situation.
Milk and milk products such as curd and paneer from the dairies began to be supplied to resorts and restaurants in the region, ensuring fresh local fare for visiting tourists, and generating substantial earnings for the villagers.
Creating lasting impact
|The micro dairies have started a white revolution in the hills|
Number of villages impacted –107
Number of families impacted (directly or indirectly) – 10,000
Micro-dairies established – 7
Milk collected from April 2016-March 2017 – 320,000 litre