CARING FOR THE VOICELESS
‘I have raised my animals with love and care. They have become a part of my life,’’ said Dhanji with a smile. Dhanji Khemo is a daily wage worker from Mevo Patel village, District Mirpurkhas. He is one of the participants of 15 days Community Livestock Extension Worker Training (CLEW) training organized by Tearfund’s partner Society for Safe Environment & Welfare of Agrarians in Pakistan (SSEWA-PAK) in collaboration with the District Livestock Department conducted in February 2022. Tearfund intends to improve the livelihood of farmers in 20 villages of Mirpurkhas through a project titled ‘’Integrated Socio-Economic initiative for Development’’. CLEW training aims to empower human resources by providing them with technical knowledge and skills about the basics of animal farming, housing, diet, and nutrition of animals during normal conditions and outbreaks. In an agrarian economy like Pakistan, livestock contributes to the poverty alleviation of small and marginal scale farmers. There are no functional veterinary clinics in Dhanji’s area. Animals are left untreated due to high transportation costs or the fees of veteran doctors. The availability of basic veterinary services are contributing to the wealth of households by preventing animal illness or death. Dhanji has started treating the animals of neighboring villages. He proudly shares, ‘Within four months, I have treated around 100 animals. It makes me proud that I am caring for the voiceless. The villagers are grateful to me for not only saving their animals but also saving the means of their livelihood. The training has given me the opportunity to provide community service as well as an alternative source of income generation.’’ He added, ‘Now I am earning 8000 to 10000 every month. Besides an additional income, Dhanji is also earning respect from the community.People acknowledge his services and are grateful to him.