How can the donation of a cow give some help  to a poor family?

Well,  I would like to tell you the following story.

One day, about 10 years ago,  Bacchi Devi´s husband went away leaving her with 5 daughters and 2 sons.

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Surbhi and Shelu came from the market to our Akshay School.

This woman has had to struggle against so many adversities alone to raise her family.  The older daughters are now married but she still has 2 sons and one daughter living with her.  The elder son, Vijay, 16 years old, has just completed his secondary education and will continue his studies with the support of our NGO.  The young girl is a pupil in our Akshay School.

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Bacchi Devi with Surbhi the cow.

Bacchi Devi has no land, only a small mud and straw hut which can be taken from her at any moment as it is not registered in her name. She is about 40 years old but is worn and old after such a hard life working in the sun and now she hasn´t the physical strength of when she was younger.  She works as a labourer in fields belonging to someone else.  She only has a job for 15 days a month.  They pay her in kind, never with money.  She only gets 4 kgs. of rice for working 12 hours o 6 kgs. of onions which means 1.20 euros for a 12 hour day. Her hopes are now pinned on her son Vijay, a good student who, in the future, could help to take away their poverty.  Vijay helps his mother by giving private classes to small children in the village.

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Parvati, the youngest girl, with Shalu the calf.

Thanks to a donation, Bacchi Devi  has been given a cow with its calf.  Here in India when one buys a cow the calf is not separated from its mother so is included.  The cow has been called Surbhi (the fragrance of a flower) and the calf Shalu (peaceful).  The cow is of an Indian breed.  These cows give less milk that the western cows but are strong animals, they stand up well to the high temperaturas and need very little veterinary attention.

Surbhi gives 4.5 litres of milk per day  so Bacchi Devi sells 3.5 litres and keeps one litre for the family. By this she earns 2 euros a day.  In two years when the calf Shalu grows, they will be able either to keep it for milk or sell it and get about 350/400 euros.

Vijay, still studying, his mother´s hope for the future.

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Vijay, still studying, his mother´s hope for the future.

Before she had the cow,  Bacchi Devi had to sell part of the rice she earned to buy lentils, vegetables, medicines, clothes, etc.  Now she can manage without selling the rice as she can purchase necessities with the money she gets from selling milk.

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Bacchi Devi and her children are very happy with the cow since, besides giving them an income, it allows the family to drink milk every day, not all that common in a dalit family.

We can´t eliminate the poverty of so many families but at least we can help in a small way  by  acts such as giving a family a cow.

Do you want to help us?

If so, please contact us at akshy@akshy.org

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