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(Even after an early marriage, Rekha Devi continued her study, helped her husband in agriculture and did wage labour to contribute to her family. She took two doses of loan from her SHG and purchased two buffaloes. She became a Krishi Sakhi, got training on new practices of agro-ecology, applied the learning in her field, thus increasing her income to Rs 1.25 lakh per annum. She formed and ran FFS, provided support to 30 SHG members in the adoption of various practices that reduced their cost of cultivation by Rs 1,575 per bigha and increased the production of Bajra by 30 kg per bigha.)
Rekha Devi got married in her early age of fourteen in a joint family in the Khoda village (Kekri block; Ajmer, Rajasthan), her husband being the eldest, entire family responsibility for her in-laws’ house was on them. Her husband was supportive; thus she could continue her education till 12th even after her marriage.
With the passage of time, her family expended and maintaining the family became a real difficult task for the couple. Responding to the family situation, Rekha decided to do something to earn for her family. They had a little over an acre of land for agriculture and a buffalo. Rekha decided to support her husband in agriculture as well as looking after their buffalo. After completing work on their farm, she started working as an agricultural labourer with her husband in the field of other farmers of her village.
It was the turning point in her life when she became a member of Bheru SHG in her village.
She took a loan of Rs 25,000 from her SHG and purchased another buffalo to increase their family income. After some months, she took another loan of Rs 35,000 from her SHG and purchased one more buffalo. From her three buffaloes, her income increased at the same time with the excess dung she started making good quality compost to use in her field.
In 2017, RSRLM initiated MKSP-AAP in Kekri block; recognising her dedication, desire to work for the community, the Village Organisation (VO) nominated her as a Krishi Sakhi which was accepted. Just after selection, she got four days of residential training on sustainable agriculture at Chitorgarh, and she learnt the new agricultural practices.
After coming back from training, she could convince her husband to adopt those practices in their field that she had learnt in her training. Now her total earnings from agriculture, livestock along with other sources (honorarium as Krishi Sakhi Rs 1,500 per month) has reached to Rs 1.25 lakh per annum.
She has promoted one livelihood pathshala (FFS) of 30 households and taught them about summer deep ploughing, seed replacement, seed treatment, organic manure preparation and uses, pest and disease management through organic methods, weed management, crop cutting, and storage methods.
Working as Krishi Sakhi in her village, she mobilized 27 households for deep summer ploughing, seed replacement, organic fertilizer, organic pesticides, kitchen garden, yellow sticky traps for insect control which were new methods for them. Due to these new practices, on an average, she could reduce the cost of cultivation for the adopted farmers by Rs 1,575 per bigha (0.33 acre) whereas productivity of Bajra was noticed to get increased by 30 kg per bigha. Besides, she also has mobilized 30 SHG members in her village who is taking seeds from NRCSS Tabiji, Ajmer and NRCSS buying back their produce at Rs. 2 per Kg more than the market rate. Linking these 30 SHG members with NRCSS for both purchase, of input (seed) and sale of output (produces) along with the introduction of agro-ecological practices has increased the income of Rs 8,390 per bigha. Rekha Devi is now confident a woman and recognised by her village people and neighbour.