The Nat community in India, growing under the shadows of a metropolitan city, still forces its young girls into commercial sex work in the name of tradition. This tradition succumbs the families into a web of poverty that they find difficult to exit. Creating alternate livelihood options helps families to choose a better future for their daughters, free from abuse. One such livelihood opportunity is goat rearing where families are able to sell protein-rich milk in their communities and dairies.
Children are often exposed and pushed into sex work, child labour and organ transplant, which have a detrimental effect on them from a very young age. One of the biggest challenges that the Nat community faces is abject poverty, which reduces their access to quality education, healthcare and life with dignity. While working intensely with the girls to provide them a safe space, iPartner realized that families need to be supported financially and help them choose livelihoods with dignity.
Ten families will be provided 2 goats each for rearing. These families would be identified after a study of their existing income, vulnerability, and access to education and healthcare. The families would be trained and provided constant support on rearing practices. They would also be connected with veterinary hospitals for constant care of goats. iPartner will closely monitor the households to measure income variations, purchasing power, better education and nutrition for their children etc.
While we are starting with a select few families, the project, will also incorporate a community sharing model, where the families would share the goat kids with other marginalised families to ensure sustainability. Goat's milk helps increase the nutritional status of the children in the family. As the income of the families increase, iPartner India would also counsel families to reduce pressure on their daughters to enter commercial sex work and let them complete their formal education.