Ranchi, Jharkhand. ON the 18 th foundation day of Jharkhand, Dr. Didi Balamdeena Tirki was awarded the Jharkhand Samman for 2018. Her story is an inspiration for lakhs of women in the state.
Ten people were awarded this award for outstanding work in the state. Balamdeena Tirki is one of them. On the 15 th of November, at the Morabadi Grounds, she was awarded Rs 1 lakh, a statue of Birsa Munda and a certificate.
Her success has not come easily. Her struggle is a lesson for the women of the state. 30-year-old Balamdeena tells us, "where ever I go people call me Dr Didi. I use the money I earn to send my two children to a convent school.
Money & Recognition
I got both money and recognition after joining the Self Help Group." Born into poverty Balamdeena studied till the 5 th standard. "I never though I would be able to get a job after only having studied till the 5 th standard.
But after training as a Pashu Sakhi everyone calls me Dr. Didi." While her success is an inspiration to the women of her state, memories of her struggle still make her emotional. One of three sisters and a brother Balamdeena grew up in poverty supported by her father who worked as a labourer and farmed. She tells us, "Sometimes we wouldn't know if there was going to be any food at night. We often ate only once a day."
Because of the financial situation of the family Balamdeena couldn't study beyond the 5 th standard. The family she was married into was poverty stricken as well. Her husband is a driver earning Rs.5000 a month. It is not possible to support a family on that amount.
Training & Saving
After joining the Group Balamdeena has managed to put aside some savings and received training as a Pashu Sakhi and now earns up to Rs 7000 a month.
In 2012 Balamdeena joined the Juhi Self Help Group. She belongs to Getalsood village in Angada Block, 45 km from Ranchi. With the help of JSLPS she received the Pashu Sakhi training in 2013. She looks after the goats in all 5 villages of her Panchayat and ensures that the goats are provided with separate stands for dry and green fodder and water and have corrals.
Like her more than 4000 women have received this training in the state and are now training women in Bihar as well. Over the years and with her experience Balamdeena can now administer primary health care to chickens, pigs, cows and buffaloes as well. She now owns a Scooty which makes it
easier to access her work area. Balamdeena is not just a Pashu Sakhi but has also trained thousands of women. She attends Block and District level meetings and drives and this augments her income as well. "I have seen poverty myself and that motivates me to help as many women as I can." she says.