KSrelief Checks on Works of Implementing Project to Construct 500 Shelter Units for Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh    NEOM and SAUDIA Offer Regular International Flights from NEOM Bay Airport    KSrelief's Masam Project Dismantles 1,339 Mines within a Week in Yemen    British Investors Express Interest in Investing in Saudi Arabia's Food, Drug Market    Asian Shares Mixed    Saudi Press: Saudi Arabia and the United States Have Strong Relations in Many Various Fields    7 Die in Philippine Ferry Fire; over 120 Rescued from Water    Saudi Student Clubs in United States Hold Graduation Ceremony for Students on Scholarships    Weather Forecast for Monday    Ithra Participates in Cannes Film Festival with New Films to Support Saudi Talents    Ministry of National Guard Coordinates with Jeddah Season 2022 to Host Children of Martyrs of Duty at City Walk    GAMI Announces Establishing National Academy of Military Industries    UAE announces major structural changes to education    Saudi Arabia starts selectively applying annual levy on domestic workers    Saudi Arabia bans citizens from traveling to 16 countries    Biodiversity Day: UN chief calls to 'build a shared future for all life'    New Australian PM Albanese signals climate policy change    US challenged in every domain of warfare — Gen. Milley    Shanghai reopens some public transport, still on high COVID alert    Exclusive launching of Michael Schumacher Digital Experience at Jeddah F1 Grand Prix    Mbappé signs new 3-year PSG deal after rejecting Real Madrid    PIF buys 16.8% stake in Kingdom Holding from billionaire Alwaleed Bin Talal    MoH allows 6 categories to receive second booster dose    Magnitude 6.1 Earthquake Occurs in Philippines    King, Crown Prince congratulate Yemen's Presidential Leadership Council prez on Unification Day    High-Level Saudi delegation to participate in the World Economic Forum 2022    Junaid, Tusif, Ashfaq, Rizwan, Furqan excel Butt Sport to clash with Center System Group in Ace Travel Saudi Cup final    Qatar's Al-Attiyah romps to 15th victory in Jordan Rally    Almurjan Group Holding: 'Mediclinic Jeddah'... A Saudi Healthcare Icon    Misk Foundation services covered 490,000 beneficiaries, 170 startups in 2021    Saudi Aramco: London Championship to Witness Participation of World's Best Female Golfers    Saudi woman finds out she is male after 20 years    Rare 1955 Mercedes sells for world record price at auction    Saudi Arabia Heads to Cannes International Film Festival to Promote Country's Flourishing Industry and Support Emerging Talent on World Stage    Hospital admissions for eating disorders soar in Britain    President of SAFF Participates in AFC General Assembly Meeting    Saudi Athletes Achieve Great Victories in the 2nd Day of the GCC Games Tournament in Kuwait    Jazan Hosts West Asian Beach Soccer Championship    Bollywood actor's tweet reignited debate over Hindi as India's national language    SFDA Advises to Wash Dates Well Before Eating    SFDA Advises Against Mixing Surplus of Iftar and Suhoor with Different Foods or Surplus from Other Days    Ministry calls on imams to avoid long supplications in Tahajjud Prayer    Nothing wrong with a Muslim celebrating birthdays, says Saudi scholar    Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt: Bollywood wishes for star couple on wedding    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Young Kashmiri woman beats odds to become successful dairy entrepreneur
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 01 - 2022

SRINAGAR — Poverty had pushed Shahzada Akhtar, a young woman from south Pulwama, to the brink of suicide. She was fighting depression of joblessness and pressure to pay off debts of her father.
Like many Kashmiri women, Akhtar is a breadwinner for her aging parents, siblings and would do odd jobs to make both ends meet in the family.
"My father had borrowed money from a number of people to support our family and he was unable to return his loans on time. Our creditors were exerting pressure on us.
"I used to do irregular jobs like cleaning apple orchards etc. But such jobs were seasonal and as it snowed, my income would cease too," Akhtar told us via an interpreter over phone.
She knows little Hindi or Hindustani language and only converses in Kashmiri.
"It became so difficult in our family that we even stopped purchasing milk and the only luxury at our food plate would be milk-less black tea. It was the time when I felt extreme hopelessness and suicidal," Akhtar recalls her difficult days.
She adds that as the Qur'an says, "Innama'al usri yusran (Verily, along with every hardship is relief). This wisdom came true word by word.
"In 2015, I came in contact with a friend Niloufer, who had been to Andhra Pradesh in connection with some government vocational training under the banner of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).
"She was taught to start many easily-established ventures like sewing set-up, goat farming, cattle farming, cow farming and domestic dairy farming, etc. Once, Niloufer also visited our area with NRLM officials who advised women to make a 10-member self-help group.
"They told us about a scheme known as Umeed (literally translated as hope). As part of this scheme, we had to register our team or enterprise and then open a bank account. We had to submit Rs.25 every week in this account.
"Those days, even managing Rs.25 a week was problematic for me. Anyhow, all members of our group deposited the required amount. And slowly, we managed to have Rs.3,000 in our account.
"This amount was to be handed over to one member to kick-start her start-up," Akhtar shares her memories. She adds that even opening a bank account and managing it was an experience for most group members.
"Later, the project resource person of the NRLM visited our village and audited our bank account. All of its dealings were found to be perfect. It was awarded Grade A and our group was sanctioned Rs.15,000 as part of the charitable fund.
"This Rs.15,000 were equally distributed among three members. One person, who was adept in sewing, purchased a sewing machine and started her tailoring work. The other purchased some goats to rear them for her future goat farm.
"Only, I was confused about what to do with my share of Rs.5,000. I was worried about the creditors of my family and wanted to pay them off with this money. But, it would kill the purpose of the grant. Then, again ease came my way.
"The NRLM released additional Rs.40,000 to our bank account to help us fund our future plans. Realizing my troubles, the group member gave this money to me and advised me to purchase a cow with this. After initial hesitation, I accepted this offer and advice," said Akhtar.
She said that purchasing a cow however didn't solve her problems. "Cow needs a special space in any household and additionally, it has to be fed and looked after properly before you can draw any benefit from her.
"Ours was a small house. Somehow, we made a make-shift cow shed along the wall of our house," said Akhtar.
And thus, Akhtar's enterprise — dairy farming — was ready to take off with a cow. "Another ease came my way. As part of the Umeed scheme, I was given a milking machine cow trolley.
"It makes milking and carrying milk very easy. So, I started selling milk, half kg, one kg, one and half kg... daily. I regularly kept depositing money in my bank account. My income was little, but I was happy and doing work enthusiastically.
"I used to carry the milk to the customers on my own. The NRLM officials were happy with my progress. They lent me Rs.10 lakh to widen my business. I purchased more cows and today, my farm has 25 cows.
"I sell around 300 liters of milk dairy and am regularly paying my bank loan EMIs. Once, as I told you, we didn't have milk in our tea. Now, thankfully, we can offer milk to even our guests," Akhtar said, with her voice choking with gratitude to Allah and the government.
Such has been barkat (blessing of Allah) in her business, Akhtar has employed many women from rural areas in her business. Her brothers, who were unemployed, have opened a shop in Pulwama district and sell milk, cheese and curd.
Verily, along with every hardship is relief! Shahzada Akhtar, 21, of South Pulwama, proves it.
— the writer is Kashmir-based Research Scholar at JNU, New Delhi.


Clic here to read the story from its source.