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                           Composite Farming (Deepa Das)

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination“ and Deepa Das who is presently 32 years of age, is a personification of this saying. At a very tender age, on completion of her Class VII, Deepa was married off and since then she had to stumble over many blocks that came her way. Deepa who is the mother of two daughters aged 13 & 3 years, lives with her parents in Jalukbari, Guwahati. Her husband who is a driver earns `4000/- out of which he gives his parents `3000/- and gives Deepa Das `1000/-. Since Deepa lives under the shadow of her parents, she could initially manage with `1000/- received from her husband. But with her children growing up, Deepa wanted to do something on her own so that she is not totally dependent on her parents or husband.

With this in mind, Deepa was looking for ways and means to pool up resources so that she can start a farm with livestock. It is at this time she had come to know that RGVN(NE)MFL with the intent of helping the poor and needy has opened an office in Jalukbari. She joined JLG-551 and being a client with regular repayment, Deepa has been able to avail the 3rd loan cycle of `18,000/-. Composite farming being the activity chosen, Deepa rears livestock viz. pigs, cows, goats and chicks. Other than using loans received from RGVN(NE)MFL, Deepa had also used an amount of `2000/- which was given to her by her uncle to buy piglets. And, here again, there was a big hurdle which Deepa faced with a lot of determination. Her father apart from owning a small resataurant, also is a pujari performing pujas in Hindu homes. Hence rearing of pigs was not permitted and when Deep Das was making an attempt to buy pigs, the community could not accept her. Amidst humiliation, a very determined Deepa shifted her farm to a distant place from where she is now continuing her activity.

Her farm now comprises pigs, jersey cows, goats and chicken. She earns `9000/- through sale of milk and produces of the livestock viz. eggs, meat etc. She keeps aside `1000/- in the Post Office every month and has an FD of `10000/- in the bank which she plans to use for future business.

The loan taken from RGVN(NE)MFL has made a lot of changes in the life of Deepa [1] her elder daughter is now studying in Class IX [2] She can manage all the transactions pertaining to her business on he own without help from others implying that her confidence has boosted [3] She had bravely taken the decision of rearing pigs despite opposition from the community, who had excluded her as this activity was considered as wrong-doing. Her father is a part-time priest and her taking up pig rearing was not accepted by the community. [4] She has been able to build a shed where the livestock are kept.

A proud Deepa Das says “Very determined to lead a life of my own, despite obstacles, I had taken concrete decisions and RGVN(NE)MFL’s intervention had helped me in moulding my career. Today, I am very independent and supportive as well to the entire family. A proper training in taking care of my animals would enable me to have a farm, free from any hazards and I look up to RGVN(NE)MFL to impart such a training to me”.