Inspiring tale of 13 women from Balasore district of Odisha

Jaleswar: A group of thirteen women has become inspiration for many others lately as they have become self-dependent. They have taken up cow farming as well as sell of food materials made off cow milk. The women are the members of the Shiva Shankar Self Help Group in Ambakuchudi village under Basta block of Balasore district in Odisha.

Sweet is wanted in every occasion. May it be a wedding ceremony, college function or office party, everybody wants to have a piece of sweet. Besides, when somebody wants to share good news, he/she wants it by offering a piece of sweet.

In nutshell, sweet is a demanded food. Cheese curd is required to make sweet. More clearly, the ingredient to prepare many popular sweets is cheese curd, called Chhena in Odisha. It is a milk product. Chhena is made from cow milk by adding food acids such as lemon juice and calcium lactate and straining the whey through filtration.

This group of women produces cheese curd or chhena. And for that they have taken up cow farming also.

About 300 Gopala or Gouda (Caste that takes care of cows) families live in Ambakuchudi village. Their traditional occupation is to take care of cows and selling milk products. The 13 women have earned success after embracing this hereditary occupation. They are preparing chhena from milk. And using the chhena, they are making paneer as well as different types of sweets including rasagola.

Initially, the 13 women saved Rs 100 per month each through the group and started cow farming with 10 cows. They prepare chhena from the milk of these cows and sell the surplus milk. They also make curd, khua (condensed milk), paneer and different types of sweets. Their prepared products are sold in Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj and even in West Bengal. Besides, they also accept local orders for supply of their products. The local sweet makers purchase chhena from these women and with that prepare sweets and sell at their shops. Since the chhena is prepared in natural way and it is pure, the products made by these women have high demand in the local market.

As per reports, these women are earning Rs. 30 thousand to Rs 40 thousand per month out of this business. Hence, they are no more dependent to anybody but are in a position to financially support their families. If these women would be given some government aid they will prosper. Asked in this regard, Balasore Chief District Veterinary Officer said that the women can be supplied with advanced machine to produce high quality chhena and paneer and they can also avail subsidy for this.

These 13 women have become self-dependent and turned inspiration for many others.

With inputs from Radhagovind Das, Jaleswar

Also read: The sorrowful tale of a lady bus Conductor from Odisha: Watch

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