EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN THROUGH LIVELIHOOD PROGRAMME : STEP SCHEME UNDER THE MINISTRY OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
The STEP scheme, implemented by ACRD under the Ministry of Women & Child development, Govt of India was started in 2007 initially in Chandrapur Block, Kamrup District. In 2010, under the project women belonging to tribal and backward communities of Rani Block were distributed pigs as a means of livelihood. The project covered 36 villages in Rani Block. More than 500 women benefitted from t he project and are earning a livelihood through pig rearing. The National Research Centre for Pig (NRCP) provided all the technical and other necessary support to the beneficiaries under the STEP scheme. Under the project, ACRD imparted training on pig rearing in a scientific and systematic way to the women identified in the Block. Awareness generation programmes were organised, which addressed issues on mother and child health, food and nutrition, laws related to women’s issues, environment, etc. Self Help Groups (SHGs) were formed by women from 36 villages of the Block. They were given two piglets each, along with a pig shed. They were also given training on financial management, skill building, management and marketability of the products, health and hygiene, proper feeding and shed, proper veterinary care, artificial insemination etc.
Regular veterinary service (including vaccinations, vitamins, etc) were provided to the piglets free of cost. Regular health camps were also organised for the beneficiaries and their children during the period.
Although the project is now over, the activities carried out during the past year have benefited the beneficiaries. In some cases, artificial inseminations have helped in getting good varieties of piglets, and increase their income. Most beneficiaries of the project are earning up to Rs 40,000 –Rs 80,000 per year on an average.
Pigs distributed under STEP Project