Verghese Kurien, the father of India’s white revolution, would have been happy to witness the silent cooperative dairy movement that is sweeping many districts of lower Assam. For the past two years, around 100 women of Chhaygaon have formed a mahila federation to supply milk to their neighbouring towns. Biju Das and Usha Das, two energetic women, have been leading the group. ‘We had been trying very hard to be economically independent. Earlier, middle men used to take away a huge share of profit from us. Now we are supplying milk directly through our federation’s centre,’ says Usha Das.
How it all started?
It was Biju Das who started a dairy farm at her home five years ago. Inspired by her success, other women of her village also took it up as their profession. Now, they have formed No 2 Balasidhi Mahila Federation and daily supply over 2,000 litres of milk through its cooperative.
‘At the beginning, we could supply only 21 litres of milk. However, with the support of some women of our panchayat, we successfully expanded our business. If we get some support from the government, we can really make it big,’ shares Biju Das.
It’s heartening to see that apart from managing their households, these women have gone the extra mile to make things happen for themselves and their communities. Of late, their sincere efforts have paid dividends. The local Gramin Sahara office has given them a two kotha land to build its dairy farm. ‘Our dairy selling centre is at Dupjoni and we supply milk to neighbouring towns of Chhaygaon and Boko. We hope we will be able to supply milk to Guwahati someday,’ beams Usha Das.