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The college dropout who is now making fortunes through sheep rearing in J&K

Last Updated on February 16, 2022 at 9:08 pm

The welfare schemes of the government meant to provide self-employment to the unemployed youth of Kashmir to make them self-reliant are turning boon in this part of North Kashmir, where women are voluntarily visiting various government departments to avail benefits under schemes of their choice to become self-employed besides generating employment for others.

With the assistance of these welfare schemes, women of Bandipora are contributing to the economy of their households to a large extent by becoming self-sufficient. They have also become a source of inspiration for others.

The sheep rearing is one such sector that makes a valuable contribution to the weaker sections of the society in Bandipora by its multifaceted utility of producing wool, meat, skin, manure etc. Realizing this, many developmental activities including schemes for intensive sheep development in the UT have been initiated and the women here are grabbing the opportunity with open arms.

One of such example is of Mumtaza Begum, a shy introvert 33 year old college dropout and now a house maker from Sheikpal Watrina area of district Bandipora, who in early 2020 approached Sheep Husbandry Department Bandipora for a Sheep Unit in order to earn livelihood.

Extending a helping hand, the department provided a 50 ewe sheep unit to Mumtaza under state sector Scheme-Mini Sheep Farm in the year 2020. She grabbed the opportunity with both of her hands with the motive to transform her life and the fate of her husband besides providing employment to two more men who work in her sheep farm.

“There are two men working in my farm on a monthly salary of 9000 each,” said Mumtaza. It was not however easy to break the set stereotype and centuries old male dominance to carve a sustainable livelihood for herself and her family, she added.

Starting with 50 sheeps, Mumtaza now possesses more than 250 sheeps that have proven self-sufficient for her to earn livelihood for herself and the family besides providing livelihood to two other families.

“The department (Sheep Husbandry Department) has provided me with every support whenever needed”, she said. She is supported by her husband and is happy to have successfully taken up this opportunity. She appealed to other women to reap full benefits of schemes kept available by the UT government of Jammu and Kashmir.

Bandipora with its peculiar scenic beauty is located in the foothills of the snow-clad peaks of Harmukh overlooking the shores of Wullar Lake has a tremendous potential for the growth of sheep and allied agricultural activities. This district occupies an area of 398sqkm. Large scale efforts are seen growing day in and day out to further boost this sector.

Realizing the importance of being self-sufficient, another 28-yr-old lady Masrat Jan from Lawaypora area of Bandipora has been provided 100 Ewe Sheep units under Integrated Sheep Development Scheme.

Giving details she said she is happy to be an employer rather than ending up as an employee. “I am giving employment to three unemployed youth besides supporting my family economically”, she added.