ABOVE: Women-only milk business flourishes in economically backward region of Bundelkhand

Women in the parched landscape of the Bundelkhand region are moving towards self-sufficiency through milk production run by a well-structured women’s self-help group that has expanded to more than 40,000 female members.

These women are partners of the Balinese Milk Producer Company Limited and have made great strides since the start of the company in 2019.

The women’s initiative in the economically backward region of Bundelkhand has been praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The company, which was started by Adityanth, has members spread across six districts in the Bundelkhand region.

During a virtual program based on the theme of ‘Aatmanirbhar Nari Shakti’ last year, Modi praised the initiative.

Adityanath welcomed the successful experiment in Jhansi while speaking at a special session of the state assembly on September 22.

Started by Uma Kanti Pal, who mobilized village women, the initiative has helped thousands of women in the region to stand up.

The members are in charge of the production, collection and safe transport of the milk to the processing centers. They are paid weekly for their work.

As dawn broke, you could see the centers bustling with activity with female members one after another visiting there with their pots full of milk.

The income has helped rural women contribute to the support of their families and provide a better education for their children.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Balinese Milk Producer Company Limited OP Singh said: ”We collect more than 1.35 lakh liters of milk every day from more than 40,000 female members in six districts of the Bundelkhand region, including Jhansi, Lalitpur, Jalaun, Mahoba, Banda and Hamirpur”.

“More than 7,000 more women will soon join us, which we hope will help increase our capacity to 2 lakh liters of milk per day.” The women members have become shareholders of the company.

Currently, the company has 703 milk collection centers in 795 villages in six districts.

The collection centers are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to determine the quality of the milk.

The collected milk is sold in the city of Jhansi and is also sent to other milk processing companies located in nearby states.

To make payment easier and empower its members, the company has also helped them link up with the banking system.

”We have also signed memorandums of understanding with several banks so that our members can get easy loans from the bank to buy livestock. We are also working to ensure our members’ dairy cattle are insured,” Singh said.

The earnings have helped the members improve their status and quality of life.

Asha Devi, a member of the group, said that at the time of joining the company, she only had one cattle, but with the help of the profits, she now owns three animals.

”I have three buffaloes that produce around 20 liters of milk, which I deposit in the collection center. The company pays me Rs 55 per liter and payments are always made on time,” he said.

”I have admitted my children to a better school and I can save some money for the future,” he added.

Another member, Pavitra Devi, from the Babina area, said: “In the last three years, I have increased the number of cattle from two to 11. The cattle give about 40 liters of milk per day, which I send to the center collection”.

Pavitra Devi added that her family has been able to build a new cattle shed with the money she earned.

The company also provides assistance to members in the purchase of livestock.

In addition, the female members also receive assistance from veterinary experts, said the CEO of the Balini group.

To increase cattle performance, the company also provides a diet rich in minerals and green fodder. In addition, camps for the treatment of cattle are also organized, he added.

”We recently started processing milk to make Ghee. We will soon make a foray into the manufacture of other dairy products,” Singh said.

In the last fiscal year, a payment of Rs 26 crore was deposited into the members’ bank account. Payment is made purely digitally directly to members’ bank accounts. Since its inception, the company has paid a total of Rs 243 million to its members and made a profit of Rs 13.8 million, Singh said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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