Before she joined an IDRF program, Kamlesh “…had no means of empowerment” in her rural village. Today she is the president of a women’s dairy cooperative, thanks to donors like you. IDRF funded the cooperative’s training in management and marketing. While they once lived in poverty, “each member is earning Rs. 6000 per month [and] has a fridge, a gas stove, and a washing machine.”
These ladies had wanted to earn money for their impoverished families but they feared breaking social norms: “What will people say if I go out? If I speak to men?!”. With funding from IDRF, our partner NGO Arpana trained these ladies in management, bookkeeping, and marketing. They learned dairy processing techniques at from the National Diary Research Institute. Kamlesh says, “First…. we had a lot of friction: there were arguments and difficulties in managing our time and duties.” The Arpana team provided training and counseling. “Now we all work seamlessly… Now we can all deal with clients, poor or rich; we can deal with traders and journalists!”
Kamlesh continues, “In fact, we have become a training and resource agency.” The dairy has been a model for women’s cooperatives across their district and the state. They are currently training two new dairy cooperatives, formed by other IDRF self-help group members.