Gajara married her husband Lalaram when she was just 12 years old. These days they have two children. The couple are struggling to get by; their living conditions are poor and they are finding it hard to pay their children's school fees.
Lalaram’s parents died before they were married so the couple have always been the only providers for their family. They work hard and juggle jobs farming land, caring for livestock and doing manual labor. Gajara would like to make sure her children, currently aged 12 and 14, can finish their education, have opportunities she never had and a build a better life for themselves.
Investing in Ghee
To improve her family’s income Gajara is planning to invest in her cattle. With her training and experience as a volunteer she has calculated that she needs a loan of $1226 to build a cattle shed and buy a new buffalo.
She has links to the Maitree dairy, a women's collective, through our partner organization, SRIJAN. This gives her access to fair market prices where she will be able to sell buffalo milk. She will process some of the milk herself to sell as ghee, a type of butter which is very common in Indian cooking.
Gajara’s plans are a long term investment. She knows that for the first year her new business won’t be making a profit. But by the end of the third year she will have cleared her debts, covered her running costs and made a profit of $578.
This extra income is worth waiting for, in the meantime the family can get by and once their loan is repaid Gajara knows that her family will be more secure and her children’s futures will look brighter.