A hostel for cattle

A hostel for cattle
Highlights

Incredible but true! A hostel for cattle is on the cards in Kurnool by the State government. The Government has entrusted the task of building the hostel to the self-help group at Tadakanapalle in Kalluru mandal. The village on the Hyderabad-Bangalore highway and is apart from 23 km from the city. 

Kurnool: Incredible but true! A hostel for cattle is on the cards in Kurnool by the State government. The Government has entrusted the task of building the hostel to the self-help group at Tadakanapalle in Kalluru mandal. The village on the Hyderabad-Bangalore highway and is apart from 23 km from the city.

If the experiment is successful, chances are that such hostels will spring up everywhere in the two Telugu states. Once dairy thrived in the village nestled among hills. Because of the drought, the farmers found it difficult to rear the animals and faced problems in getting employment as an agriculture workers.

In this background, the farmers thought out of the boxand allowed a free run of their creative juices. They persevered to achieve success in a business model involving the dairy animals. As a result, the village emerged as a brand ambassador of Khova in Kurnool district.

The villagers process 1000 liters of milk a day to produce 500 kg of khova. The State government entrusted the hostel for cattle project to the village as the self-help groups’ women of the village never give up on anything easily. They will not rest till concluding any project that they take up to the logical conclusion.

In the history of the village, 2012 turned a new leaf. Five women formed into a group forming a total of 15 groups in the village. Each group availed a loan of Rs 2 lakh from banks. They travelled as far as Tamil Nadu and Punjab to purchase buffallos of good breed to embark on dairy business.

Women in a group shared the responsibility of looking after the cattle. While two members graze the cattle and milk them for a month, the other members worked as agricultural workers and earned money. After taht, they reversed their roles.

A village federation of SHGs has been formed in the village and appointed a coordinator. The salary of the coordinator was paid from running tailoring and computer classes. The efforts boosted the confidence among the women.

The SHGs set up Pala Pragati Kendras (mini diaries). Soon the number of groups in the village multiplied to 45. While some persons in the group tend the cattle, others stayed back at home and process the milk to produce khova, which they sold in neighbouring villages and towns.

Shortage of space to keep the cattle at their homes led to explore the idea of a hostel for the cattle. District Collector Vijaya Mohan allotted 10 acres of land and encouraged the women to construct sheds for cattle availing a loan of Rs 1 crore to enable all the SHG members to keep their cattle in the cattleshed.

Animal husbandry department officials encouraged the women to go ahead with the hostel idea as it would mean keeping the village in clean and hygienic conditions. The officials suggested changes to the hostel design.

To avoid shortage of fodder and feed, the officials extended training to the SHG women on raising the fodder crops and preparing the cattle feed on their own. They also put to good use of the dung by installing a gobar gas unit. The waste generated here would be used in vermicompost preparation.

To offset the impact of drought, if any, in future, measures to desilt the village tank are underway to avoid water crisis. The silt is given away free of cost to the villagers to spread it across their fields. Experts from animal husbandry department are of the view that the hostel has been designed on the model of a hostel built in Gujarat. Construction of cattle sheds in the hostel has been completed.

Tasks like development of drainage and leveling the ground, installation of a gobar gas plant and electrification are progressing. Women of the village federation of the self-help groups are contemplating to get the hostel inaugurated by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu soon.

By Harikishan

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