photoInt2_Panna-Devi-tends-to-her-shop

印度農村女性地位低微,但仍有不少婦女自強不息,48歲的Panna Devi正是其中一員,她在國際小母牛組織的幫助下扭轉命運。Panna Devi在拉賈斯坦邦一條農村生活,她16歲時隨父母之命嫁給未見過面的丈夫Ramuran Ji,自此要一同承擔夫家長達25年的債務。為此Panna Devi每日辛勞打工,包括烤磚、打掃衛生,甚至因當地缺乏廁所,她便替人清理排泄物。得知小母牛新成立了一個女性互助小組後,Panna Devi便立刻參加了,「我認為這可能是擺脫苦難的一種方式」。

小母牛幫助互助組成員飼養山羊,提供培訓和借貸。Panna Devi曾借貸在高腳木棚建了一個小商店,售賣煙草、糖果、蔬菜及穀物等。不過,因她曾經備受歧視的「排泄物清潔工」身分,客人不願意光顧她,可是Panna Devi並未放棄。當地對山羊的需求很大,惟她不擅長養羊,於是決定跟小母牛加強訓練養羊技巧,更學懂用一種叫滿江紅(azolla)的水生植物來增加羊群的產奶量,令她養的羊特別健康。

Panna Devi開始利用空餘時間替其他人養羊,又幫忙領導互助小組,包括教人開設銀行戶口,並安排山羊交易,村內的人對她日益敬佩,連小商店生意也逐漸好轉,她的家庭終於不再負債,Panna Devi每月靠賣羊及小商店的銷售額達35,000至40,000盧比(約4,300至4,900港元),自己更能儲下6,000盧比(約750港元)。

有了收入改善生活,Panna Devi擴建了房子,改良通風及加固泥牆,更承擔照顧一家人的責任,包括因身體殘疾無法工作的兒子及其妻女。擺脫貧困負債生活自力更生,Panna Devi感到無比自豪,她認為是小母牛的培訓拯救了她,工作更讓她能發揮才能和職業道德,「我會向所有人展示我的表現」。

IN201612
Photographs by Geoff Oliver Bugbee for Heifer International / World Ark
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Janewa Paschim Village, Rajasthan, India – Panchu Devi, Heifer beneficiary, said that before her SHG got started there were no goat sheds and they had been accustomed to cleaning out the goat pens. After the formation of the group, they began planting plants for fodder. The goat breed here (pictured) is sirohi, large goats with long ears.
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Project Number 22-0501-20; Project Partner Khejri (Urmul Khejari). All project participants to achieve sustainable income, increased health and nutrition, improved environment, and live in harmony. By the end of the project, all the families will have moved above the poverty line and have resilient livelihoods. Additionally, communities will have increased solidarity and harmony, and be empowered to gain access to other development programs. All participating families will have improved nutrition, hygiene, sanitation and have adopted environmentally friendly practices.

小母牛幫助農村婦女養羊改善生活

IN201612
Photographs by Geoff Oliver Bugbee for Heifer International / World Ark
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Jhareli village (Nagaur, Rajasthan, India) – Panna Devi and her husband Ramchandran milk their goats.  
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Project Number 22-0501-20; Project Partner Khejri (Urmul Khejari). All project participants to achieve sustainable income, increased health and nutrition, improved environment, and live in harmony. By the end of the project, all the families will have moved above the poverty line and have resilient livelihoods. Additionally, communities will have increased solidarity and harmony, and be empowered to gain access to other development programs. All participating families will have improved nutrition, hygiene, sanitation and have adopted environmentally friendly practices.

Panna Devi  (右) 與丈夫 Ramuran Ji (左)