Shilpa Chandrashekar is a dairy farmer from Bettahalli village, Mandya district, Karnataka. A family of 4, Shilpa and her husband practice dairy farming as their primary occupation. They have 12 cows of which 8 are adult cows with 5 giving milk regularly and 3 more cows which will start within a month. The couple also own a 3 acre farm which is uncultivable as their bore well failed after multiple attempts to resurface it. They have dug a small pond which allows them to cultivate little fodder and some vegetables.
Shilpa has a adopted a single cluster 150 watt solar powered milking machine also adopted the lighting solution (2 light system for her house and 1 light system in the cow shed)
Due to her CIBIL score which is below 500, she was unable to take loans from financing institutions. With the machine cost of INR 73,000, she was linked to the Karnataka Milk Federation scheme which covered INR 15,000 of the amount and the remaining support was given by SELCO Foundation and SKDRDP
right before the installation of the milking machine in January 2020, Shilpa’s husband suffered with a serious bike accident severely injuring him in the head and his stomach. Since his accident, he has not been able to engage in dairy activities; and has not been able to take up alternative employment either due to his condition. He has to receive regular treatment in the district hospital which is 22 kms away from their village. It took 15 mins to milk a cow manually and milking is carried out twice in a day. This resulted in physical strain and exhaustion as Shilpa spent 4 hours a day just milking the cows. With a lack of labour to milk the cows for support and the village facing frequent power cuts, Shilpa did not invest in a machine to milk the cows.
“I was hesitant in adopting the milking machine initially because it felt like an expensive prospect. However, I would not have been able to practice my livelihood today without it. After my husband’s accident I have to manage all the work myself. The intervention has been very useful to us."
Financial support: Due to a poor CIBIL score, Shilpa could not invest in an asset. The financial support from SELCO Foundation and SKDRDP allowed her to own her own productive use asset which has improved her livelihood and well-being.
Increased productivity: Shilpa would spend 15 minutes milking per cow twice a day resulting in engaging in this activity for four hours. This time and drudgery have significantly reduced.
Lack of labour addressed: Shilpa would have had to hire labour post her husband's ill-health to manage her livelihood. This need has been eliminated and replaced by the milking machine.