Friday, February 24, 2012

Outline of all Projects 2: The Goat & Cow Schemes

The thorny issue of the Goat Scheme has always been tricky. It was first introduced as a passing on the gift scheme which benefited some individuals, but as has been mentioned several times, the second time we tried to introduce it in another village, the goats went missing presumed consumed. In the original village, Keelalathur, we are now on the 3rd or 4th generation and there are 11 kids to be redistributed. I think we should see whether the smaller group at Seeterampet look after the goat better than at Kovasampet.

After the passing on the gift scheme faltered, we introduced the idea of SHGs raising goats, but as mentioned in a previous posting, this produced only modest returns. Mathew and colleagues went to an NGO convention and saw a co-operative model which we are keen to introduce here at RUHSA run by an SHG as a coperative, so we have the benefits of a group deriving an income, but also being able to generate an income for the EWCs. The capital could be put up by VRCT, 50% returns come to RUHSA for the EWCs and 50% go to the group. The newly redesigned VRCT committee will await a full proposal from RUHSA about this project and hope to be able to approve it for the coming year.

The Farmers Club Milking Program is another co-operative model initiated by one of the RCOs to benefit poor village farmers. FOV raised funds for 15 cows, giving 5 to each of 3 co-operatives. This acts as an interest free loan. The farmers pay 2000rs (£28) back per month from the milk and dung income they receive. It is early days, but we went to see the projects on weds (see previous pictures) and it is looking promising. RUHSA have trained the farmers in cow management and dung collection and as milk prices are good, the returns are also good. Each cow can produce 10l per day of milk which can fetch 17rs per litre. After feed costs etc they can earn about 100rs per day from milk alone. RUHSA feels that the farmers’ wellbeing has increased and there may be a chance to explore the impact of schemes such as this on other dimensions of health such as domestic violence, alcoholism etc. We will await the evauation after a year is up to see what the impact has been.

Next to be continued: diabetic shoes made by disability SHG, community college revamping & fund raising officer


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