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An all-women green club

Who says it’s a men’s world? If the zeal of women of this village is any indication, they will soon surpass men in a male-dominated agro business, report Ruchir Kumar & Rajesh K Thakur.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2008 02:55 IST
Ruchir Kumar and Rajesh Kumar Thakur
Ruchir Kumar and Rajesh Kumar Thakur
Hindustan Times

Who says it’s a men’s world? If the zeal of women of this village, some 20-odd kms off Hajipur, is any indication, they would soon surpass men in an otherwise male-dominated agro business.

To show the world that they are in no way inferior, the fairer sex here have made a foray into farming. And, theirs is no half-hearted approach. In fact, it’s quite an organised business with over 200 women of around 12 adjoining villages coming under the umbrella of Mamata Mahila Kisan Club, which claims to be the first all-women kisan club in the state.

On February 3, the club was affiliated to the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA), thereby making it eligible to avail benefits extended by the NABARD.

Talking to HT, president of the club Shashi Bala Devi said: “With our husbands, most of whom are migrant labourers, staying out for better part of the year, some like-minded women decided to take upon themselves the responsibility of running their houses. Initially, we set up a club with a handful women and later expanded our base to neighbouring villages.”

These women have taken to paddy, mustard, sunflower and clove cultivation. Jagriti Kala Kendra, an NGO, imparts technical training and the necessary literature to them.

The club now wants the government to provide them with credit cards. “With our husbands not around, it’s difficult to get money directly from banks if the credit card is not in our name,” said Devi.