Changing lives with cow dung: Chhattisgarh woman shows the way

Preeti Toppo, a resident of Manendragarh in Koriya district of Chhattisgarh, has proved that the path to success becomes easy if the intention is honest and the goal is fixed. She formed a self-help group (SHG) by joining 73 women with her and started the business of vermicompost from cow dung. This group has succeeded in doing a business of Rs 93 lakh so far.

Two years ago when the Bhupesh Baghel government started the Godhan Nyay scheme, Preeti Toppo, who belongs to a poor family, felt as if the scheme was made for her. Preeti along with other women like her formed a women’s self-help group and got involved in the manufacture of vermicompost manure along with the collection of cow dung. After two years, she has sold vermicompost fertilizer worth Rs 93 lakh through the group. Now they have become financially independent, there is no need to depend on anyone else. Preeti has brought economic change not only for herself but also for the women of the group associated with her.

Swachh Manendragarh Sangh, which is the women’s self-help group engaged in vermicompost manufacturing in Urban Gauthan, Manendragarh, is in the news these days because nobody could have thought that cow dung could be of so much value. Cow dung, which has great importance in religious rituals, has been made the axis of economic change by the Chhattisgarh government.

The Godhan Nyay Yojana is a one of its kind scheme in the entire country. The scheme has turned cow dung into a commodity, which is being sold and bought in this state. The Chhattisgarh government is procuring cow dung. From this cow dung, self-help groups are making vermicompost manure. The profit that the groups are making from the sale of this manure is bringing a big change in their lives.

Preeti Toppo says “When we started the work of manufacturing vermicompost, the family members were not happy, but as income was gained from production and sales, people’s attitude towards us started changing. Through this scheme, we have got a means of self-employment, our prestige in the society has also increased.”

In this group of 73, women come from different family backgrounds. Some are from poor families, some have never worked outside their homes. But the earnings from this work have made them a strong pillar of their family.

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