By Chandrani Banerjee | Head of Livelihood Programmes, West Bengal
Chhaya joined our poultry farming programme in April 2022 after her husband lost his bus driving job in Kolkata during the Covid pandemic. She started with three toolkits (30 chicks) and after four months was able to earn money by selling chicken meat at the roadside. With increase in the demand for meat, she started taking more toolkits and then set up a permanent stall at the roadside.
Gradually Chhaya diversified her small chicken shop into a grocery shop with some money from her profits in poultry farming. She also started selling chicken curry, rotis and rice to people passing by on the road. She and her husband are now busy running the shop selling various food and household items, as well as running their small café.
Sadly, while she spent most of her time in the shop, some of her chickens got stolen and so she decided to carry on with the shop business only as it's doing so well. She plans to start her poultry farming again in a few months’ time when she can spend more time at home and her husband and son can run the shop.
Chhaya and her family are now happily managing on the income generated through the shop enterprise. She is a perfect example of a woman in poverty who has been supported by Shivia through the poultry farming programme which acted as a stepping stone to establish a permanent income to lift her family out of poverty.
She says that she feels indebted to Shivia for providing such an excellent opportunity and values the training and handholding we have provided for her, helping her to uplift the whole family from the clutches of absolute poverty and at the mercy of debt when her husband lost his employment.
Thank you for helping us to help Chhaya and many more women like her.
With best wishes from,
Chandrani BanerjeeHead of Livelihood Programmes for Shivia (West Bengal)
We are delighted to send you a copy of our Annual Review for the year 2022/2023 which is packed full of information about all of Shivia's programmes in India and, for the first time, in Madagascar.
We have included impact reports for some of our women farmers who are benefitting from the tools and training we offer them through Poultry Development Services. Take a look to read Mamoni's story for example - she's now a fully independent poultry farmer with a flock of over 250 birds.
"This programme has literally saved my family’s life. I fall short of words and do not know what I should say to express my gratitude and respect for your training and service.”
It is coming up to one year since we expanded our Poultry Development Services programme beyond West Bengal to support some of the poorest marginalised communities in the neighbouring state of Odisha. As you can see, the programme is now in full swing!
Shanti started our training programme and received her first toolkit of ten chicks in May 2022. After three months, she was able to sell some of her fully grown chickens.
In these photos you can see how pleased she is to be selling her chickens and to have cash in her hand for the first time. She sold her first batch of chickens for 1,200 rupees (c. £12) and used the money to feed her family and invest in her growing enterprise. Shanti is representative of so many of the women we are working with in rural villages with Poultry Development Services. For them, raising chickens is like having an ATM in their own backyard!
You can meet more women like Shanti on our YouTube channel where we have posted some short videos called 'Take One Minute'. They are all filmed in one take by the Shivia team during our field visits - we hope you will take one minute to watch them.
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