In the heartland of rural India, where agriculture forms the backbone of countless families, a remarkable initiative is taking root—the ‘A-HELP’ program. This groundbreaking endeavor aims to empower women and transform their roles as Accredited Agents, contributing significantly to disease control, animal tagging, and livestock insurance. Shri Badal Patralekh, serving as the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Co-operative in the Government of Jharkhand, holds a vision for a more promising future for the livestock sector through this program. At the same time, Smt. Alka Upadhyaya underscores the pivotal role women play in the comprehensive development of the livestock sector. This visionary initiative recently witnessed substantial participation, with over 500 attendees, including progressive farmers and Pashu Sakhis.
The ‘A-HELP’ program, short for ‘Accredited Agent for Health and Extension of Livestock Production,’ is a dynamic initiative that seeks to address several pressing challenges within the livestock sector. At its core, the program focuses on the key aspects like Empowering Women, Disease Control, Animal Tagging, Livestock Insurance, Community Building. One of the primary goals of the ‘A-HELP’ program is to empower women by engaging them as Accredited Agents. This revolutionary approach recognizes and harnesses the immense potential and knowledge that women possess in the agricultural domain. The program places a strong emphasis on controlling livestock diseases, a critical factor in ensuring the health and productivity of our animals. Accredited Agents are trained to identify, manage, and prevent diseases that can devastate livestock and farm income. Modern livestock management requires efficient animal tagging and monitoring.
Through the ‘A-HELP’ program, Accredited Agents are equipped with the skills to tag animals accurately, fostering traceability and better disease control. Recognizing the financial vulnerability of farmers, the program introduces livestock insurance. This safety net provides peace of mind to farmers, ensuring that unforeseen events do not cripple their livelihoods.The ‘A-HELP’ program extends beyond individual empowerment. It emphasizes the importance of community and mutual support, encouraging collective efforts for the betterment of the agricultural sector.
Key points of A-Help Program
The recent launch of the ‘A-HELP’ program in the State of Jharkhand marked a significant milestone in the journey toward a more resilient and prosperous agricultural sector.
The key points are as follows:
- Notable Dignitaries: The event was graced by the presence of Shri Badal Patralekh, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Co-operative, Govt. of Jharkhand, and Smt. Alka Upadhyaya, the Secretary of the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Govt. of India. Their participation underscored the importance of this initiative.
- Minister’s Emphasis: Shri Badal Patralekh emphasized the critical role of women in the development of the state’s livestock sector. He highlighted the ‘A-HELP’ program as a pivotal step in empowering women, enabling disease control, animal tagging, and livestock insurance. This initiative, he noted, would not only provide doorstep veterinary services but also empower Pashu Sakhis, exemplifying the integration of women’s power for socio-economic progress.
- Smt. Alka Upadhyaya’s Virtual Address: Smt. Alka Upadhyaya, while participating in the event virtually, highlighted the indispensable role that livestock and women play in the comprehensive development of the livestock sector. She lauded the State Government for its growth in the livestock sector. Smt. Upadhyaya also introduced the concept of Accredited Agents for Health and Extension of Livestock Production (A-HELP) as a bridge between local veterinary institutions and livestock owners, serving as primary health service providers.
- National Implementation: The ‘A-HELP’ program is not confined to Jharkhand alone. It has already been initiated in several other states and union territories, including Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jharkhand. This widespread implementation underscores its national importance.
- Collaboration with NRLM: The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) has launched the initiative in partnership with the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) under the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. This collaborative effort signifies a collective commitment to the success of the program.
- A-HELP Kits Distribution: During the launch event, A-HELP Kits were distributed to Pashu Sakhis, a vital step in equipping them for their roles as Accredited Agents. These kits include tools and resources necessary for effective disease control and livestock management.
The ‘A-HELP’ program is a beacon of hope and empowerment for rural India. It encapsulates the essence of progress, recognizing the pivotal role of women, the importance of disease control, and the need for sustainable livestock management. With visionary leadership and enthusiastic community participation, it promises to revitalize the agricultural landscape, enhance livelihoods, and ensure a brighter future for farmers. As we embark on this transformative journey, let us stand united, harness the power of change, and collectively drive the agricultural revolution that is unfolding before our very eyes. The ‘A-HELP’ program is not just a program; it’s a promise of prosperity and resilience.