The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India, recently unveiled the ‘A-HELP‘ (Accredited Agent for Health and Extension of Livestock Production) programme in the state of Jharkhand. The launch event, graced by dignitaries, shed light on the vital role that women play in the state’s livestock sector and the potential of this new initiative to transform the landscape of animal husbandry.
A-HELP’ Program: A Groundbreaking Initiative Aimed At Empowering Women
Minister Shri Badal Patralekh, the chief guest of the programme, emphasized the pivotal role of women in the overall development of Jharkhand’s livestock sector. He highlighted the ‘A-HELP’ program as a groundbreaking initiative aimed at empowering women by engaging them as Accredited Agents who will significantly contribute to disease control, animal tagging, and livestock insurance.
This new scheme will enhance access to veterinary services at the farmer’s doorstep and empower Pashu Sakhis, marking a significant integration of women’s power for socio-economic progress.
Pashu Sakhis: Aiding Livestock Health and Farming Communities
Pashu sakhis are women residing in rural regions who undergo training to offer veterinary care, breeding assistance, and medication to the livestock within their local communities. They are chosen based on their fundamental literacy and communication abilities. In exchange for their services, these sakhis collect a modest fee from the livestock owners.
Emphasizing the Significance of Women in Livestock Sector Advancement
Smt. Alka Upadhyaya, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, GoI: Smt. Alka Upadhyaya, who participated virtually, stressed the vital roles played by livestock and women in the comprehensive development of the livestock sector.
She congratulated the State Government for its growing livestock sector and introduced the concept of Accredited Agents for Health and Extension of Livestock Production (A-HELP). These community-based functionaries aim to bridge the gap between local veterinary institutions and livestock owners by providing primary health services, serving as Livestock Resource Persons, and acting as Primary Service Providers.
Expanding Horizons: A-HELP Across States
The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) has undertaken the novel initiative, “A-HELP,” across various States/Union Territories, including Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jharkhand.
The initiative has been made possible through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between DAHD (Department of Animal husbandry and Dairying) and the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) under the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India.
Distributing A-HELP Kits
As part of the launch event, A-HELP Kits were distributed to Pashu Sakhis, marking a tangible step towards empowering women in the livestock sector. The event witnessed substantial participation, with over 500 attendees, including progressive farmers and Pashu Sakhis.
This initiative signifies a significant leap forward in promoting livestock health, extension services, and women’s empowerment in the region, potentially leading to improved livestock productivity and rural development.