Sidan Rishidev from Mahadalit(Musahar) community is a 50 year old farmer who become a role model for many in his community and Madhepura district. He didn’t even own a piece of land to grow food but his determination and will have helped him excel in life and transform his whole family.
He recalls with sadness of the days when he worked as a labourer for Land holders in Terashi village, when he couldn’t bring home enough and had to migrate to Delhi and Punjab for 5 years in search of a better job to feed his family something in a day.
In 2013, Sidan’s wife Aruliya Devi joined Self Help Group (SHG) a project through which he came to know about the livelihood training organized by Madhepura CHDP. There he was inspired to make bamboo crafts as a small scale livelihood activity in his own village but the other villagers discouraged his plans. Sidan went ahead in spite of this and started working; he was in constant communication with the project staff about his work and was supported by the project with 1700 rupees.
By 2015 he had saved enough to hire 1 Bhiga of land and started some agricultural work of vegetable farming to earn money to provide for his family. He was initially provided with training and seeds by the project, he’s still connected and receives technical support from District Farm Science Centre. Bamboo crafts are now his additional work to add into the money.
Sidan Says, “Since 2013 I’ve never migrated to any other place for earning, and I’ve never done any kind of labour work in others’ fields. Today I am earning enough from my own field.”
He is not only strengthening his livelihood but is also aware of different social issues. Once Sidan and Aruliya attended an awareness meeting on early child marriage and its bad impact; since that day they’ve decided to get their children married after they’re old enough. Their three sons married after 23 years of age and are all helping Sidan in his agricultural work.