Go Goats! Make Tiny Aam Daar Hamlet Thrive | Milaap
Go Goats! Make Tiny Aam Daar Hamlet Thrive
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    Sachin Malhan
  • SM

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    Sachin Malhan

In November 2019 I visited Shivpuri, a town in the reserve forests in MP, about 1.5 hrs from Gwalior. That area has a number of tribal villages of the Saharia people. These are typically forest dwellers with thousands of years of experience living in and off the forest. Unfortunately, for various reasons, many have now been displaced into villages distant from the forests.

One such group is the Aam Daar hamlet, a group of 25 families displaced from their traditional existence and moved to a 2 acre plot by the highway. They have pucca homes but no livelihood and the men are forced to work in stone mining. As a result most of the men are suffering from silicosis and TB. The children are bright-eyed and effervescent but they have no schooling and there is a serious threat of them falling into the same cycles of deprivation, abuse and lifelong poverty.

But there is a chance to make a lasting impact with a timely intervention. Equipping the Saharias with goat-farming which can provide meat (goats multiply fast!) for sale, milk for use and poop for manure. Goat-farming is a proven livelihood intervention and the families are keen to establish a cooperative that make a huge difference to their lives. If the model works then this can be replicated with other tribal communities even as Zenith, an extremely creative non-profit working on socio-legal issues in the area, continues its work on securing govt entitlements and tribal rights for these communities. 

To equip the Saharias with this capability we will engage Goat Trust, an organization which has done remarkable work on building livelihoods through sustaining goat herding. The first phase is getting key people in the village trained to herd and tend to goats, and then link produce to markets effectively. Thereafter we will enable the village(s) to get the goats to get started. The experience of Goat Trust has shown that meaningful changes can happen on the ground and with Zeniths presence in the area we can ensure it. 

The detail project budget is in the pdf attached below. We will provide monthly updates on this project to make sure you can see how things are progressing. 

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