Itanagar: In India cow is considered as the most sacred of all animals, and Kamadhenu (the divine cow) is the giver of all desires. Apart from its sanctity, the cow plays an important role in the rural economy of this country. From her birth to death cow gives money, good health, livelihood and life. Cow milk, curds, ghee butter, urine and dung are used in our daily lives, worship and rituals.
Cow milk helps us to sustain lives and its by-products such as yoghurt, buttermilk, butter, and ghee are an integral part of our daily diet. Since time immemorial the cow dung is used for fuel and to clean house floors and walls. Even researchers proved that cow as natural beneficial product dung that has antiseptic values.
It is the story of NgoyumYumyang of Lazu Village, Ollo Community, Tirap District, Arunachal Pradesh, a daily wage earner and single mother of one son and one daughter. She is the sole bread earner of her family Ngoyum and how she supports her family by rearing cows.
After the sudden death of her husband, Ngoyum realised that her family’s income was about to collapse. With not enough funds from her small daily wages to feed the family, she had to face many difficulties in providing food and education for her children. Even going through this hardship, she never gave up and hoped for good days to come.
She had no idea what she could do for a living because she was illiterate and her main occupation was Jhum cultivation. She could only provide food, not proper quality education for her children. She realised that if her children do not receive a proper education, they will face the same difficulties that she is going through.
Ngoyum began to learn more and more about government-funded projects. She took an idea from the NERCORMP Project of North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCRMS) with each minor detail and came up with a proposal for a cow. Through NERCRMS she received two cows and decided to start increasing the number of cows, said the Ministry of Development of the North-East Region in a report.
Over the years, Ngoyum Yumyang, has had a better life. She started with two cows and now has more than ten. She earns money by selling cow milk, and the manure from the cow dung would provide a good source of organic matter for improving soil fertility and crop yields.
Agriculture is the main source of her income but the soil was not fertile and bad for vegetable cultivation. As a result, production was extremely low. Cow dung from her cattle plays an important role in her life; as she uses the excreta as manure. With the help of cow manure her vegetable garden began to offer crops all year and was able to support her family.
She now has a decent standard of living and has enough money to provide food and a good education for her children. She never loses hope in life and is continuously looking for ways to improve her situation.