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Monday, July 18, 2011

Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Living: Case-56: VETERINARY SERVICE AT YOUR DOOR STEP!

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A Case Study of THE ANDHRA PRADESH RURAL LIVELIHOODS PROJECT

Kotamarthi Village in Mothkur Mandal has a large number of cattle (mainly buffaloes), sheep and poultry. The village did not have a veterinary doctor or anybody else to provide medical support. Cattle were reared by the poor and middle class people of the village as an additional source of income. Recurring diseases and the lack of timely medical care took a heavy toll – not just on the lives of cattle, but also on the productivity of other animals. The members of the village organisation took it upon themselves to solve this problem. The best solution was to train a volunteer in veterinary skills, who would provide timely medical aid to the livestock in the village. In 2006, the village organisation, SIRD, an NGO, which was the project implementing agency and the Cluster Livelihoods Resource Centre (CLRC) selected a
young man by the name of Brahmachari for this purpose.

Brahmachari underwent 45 days of training at the Veterinary Centre in Nalgonda district, sponsored by the CLRC. After completing the training, Brahmachari started working as an animal husbandry paraworker in the same village.  With his experience and skill, he can now treat cattle against seasonal diseases. He can even perform a Ceasarean Section on animals, if required. On an average day, he administers injections to 4 sheep, 25 poultry birds and gives medical aid to 6 buffaloes. Besides Kotamarthi village, he has also extended his practice to eight other nearby villages. Between these other villages, on an average day, he supports 6 buffalo calvings and gives emergency aid to about 15 sheep and 10 goats. So busy has he become, that time has turned into a precious commodity.

The villagers respect him for saving their precious cattle. Farmers from nearby villages visit him every day and take him home to treat their livestock. They provide him with food and shelter whenever he needs it. His work gives him a very high level of satisfaction.

Before his training as a para-vet, Brahmachari had a meagre income of less than Rs.1, 500 a month. He now earns not less than Rs.200 a day. His earnings have more than trebled. More importantly, his job has gained him respect and social standing. He is forever indebted to APRLP which made all this possible. And the villagers have got a good ‘para-vet’ to take care of their cattle-wealth. The crowning glory in all this was the award that Brahmachari received – for the best paraworker in the Mandal. He is a happy
man today.

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