For Maliram and Dulki Bai, support from Tearfund’s partner EFICOR hasn’t only helped them to farm more productively – it’s empowered them and given them new confidence.
Maliram and Dulki Bai and their six children live in Kataro ka Kheda in Rajasthan, in northern India. Life has not been easy for them, and as a marginal farmer, in a place where water is scarce, Maliram struggled to support his family and used to migrate in search of work.
In 2017 he got involved in agriculture training programs through EFICOR, which also provided him with plants and fencing wire for his farm. He was trained in different farming methods with the help of an agricultural scientist.
“We were not able to earn enough even for our bread and butter before,” he says. “But after getting information and knowledge from EFICOR and the agricultural department we have started to earn and manage things independently. We are now seeing good results after getting the training.”
Both Maliram and Dulki Bai are illiterate, and were often hesitant to speak up at social gatherings and village meetings. But with support from EFICOR, they’ve grown in confidence, and become more involved in the community. Dulki Bai became a member of a local Self-Help Group, which gave her access to training opportunities and a chance to connect with others in her community.
She’s also started practising vegetable gardening and poultry rearing herself. She’s happy that her husband no longer has to migrate for work, and they can be together as a family. Now they have time to look after their children together -- and to think about how life might look for them in the future. They hope they’ll get good jobs and serve their community.
“The whole village will benefit from this training in the future … This village has become aware about good farming. Children are also going to school and good houses will be built in the village,” Maliram says.
Their 12-year-old daughter Bhulki likes to help with farming and vegetable growing. But when she’s older, she hopes to become a nurse. She wants to be a role model for people in her village and work for the well-being of her community.
Maliram says life is looking much brighter these days.
“A few years back before getting the training, the productivity of our gardening was not good,” he says. “But now, we are doing well. Now we have learned lots of things about kitchen gardening. We plant papaya, sugarcane, mustard, garlic and cabbage too. Now we are working with organic farming processes.
“Previously we were unable to manage our home expenses but now we are doing well, and our children are going to school. We have a little poultry farm, and some cow-buffalo rearing as well.”
EFICOR’s support for families like Maliram’s meant they were in a stronger position when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Maliram could rely on an income from farming, and be there to support his family at a very challenging time.