It is not everyday that goats in Bihar become a front page headline. However, today we bring you the relevance of goats in Bihar, explained by none other than the richest man in the world - Bill Gates. A social media post by Gates throws light on how goats in rural India, particularly in Bihar, help women earn money, to an extent that the mammal is termed as 'ATM'.
Now the question lingers, 'Can goats actually help empower women?'
Goats actually help make money, as they are always in demand for being a good source of food. In parts of Bihar, goats are raised by women, who otherwise do not play the decision-maker in their families.
These mammals, when sold in the market, bring in good amount of cash.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is helping the rural poor lead a prosperous life, which also adds up to the social cause of nurturing goats.
Through a program called Project Mesha, run by the Aga Khan Foundation and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, more than 200 women are being trained to well nurture goats in four communities in the Indian state of Bihar.
Who supports the rural women earn money through goats?
Not many people are aware about a team of health workers, commonly known as ‘pashu sakhis’, who train rural women on how to gain financial independence by raising healthier goats. However living in poverty, the ‘pashu sakhis’ provide basic training on the appropriate ways of vaccinating, deworming and providing essential care to goats.
According to what a study suggests, women who have cash spend it the right way, on improving their standards of living, which includes better education for children, access to better medical facilities and improved sanitation.
So, an impactful side of the cause is to ensure that the pashu sakhis are empowered themselves.
They charge small fees for their veterinary services, which provide them with a source of income and a financial incentive to promote goat care in their communities.
Bihar is one of the poorest states in India and has one of the country’s largest populations of goats.