Most religions hold milch cows in high reverence; they are venerated as symbols of wealth and gifting a cow is considered the highest form of giving.
The Rotarians of RC Shimoga, D 3180, did just that to raise the economic condition of the women in Shimoga’s surrounding villages. About 373 such women were given hybrid milch cows to help them earn a livelihood. The RCCs and village panchayats of 25 villages assisted them in identifying the needy women. “This project is being done for the past three years,” said PDG Narayan Pandeshwar.
The project cost around $131,400 and RCs West Springfield, D 7890, Massachusetts, USA and Fort Collins Breakfast, D 5440, Colorado, USA and The Rotary Foundation pitched in with financial assistance through five Matching Grants and a Global Grant. “These cows have become so popular in the region that they are referred to as Rotary Cows,” says Pandeshwar.
On an average, each woman makes 40 per cent net profit after spending for the cattle feed.
The women have tied up with the village dairy cooperative societies; they deliver the milk regularly at milk collection points in the villages and use the money from the sale of milk and dung for the maintenance of cattle and household expenses.
“Each cow yields 16-20 litres of milk a day which is bought by the societies at Rs 20-22 a litre, depending on its fat content. On an average, each woman makes 40 per cent net profit after spending for the cattle feed, etc.” he said.
TRF has lauded this project as one of the most practical project undertaken for economic development of women.