Ram Kumari Gurung, 28, searched for various jobs after she cleared her tenth grade. Living with her elderly parents and a brother, she often looked for jobs that would help support her family. Though her family cultivates agronomic crops in a small piece of land, it was hard for them to sustain their livelihoods. However, Ram Kumari was determined to learn new skills and become financially independent.
At home, she looked after her livestock like goats, chickens and ducks and was interested in animal rearing and caring. She self-learned about animal feeding, their diseases and local ways of treating them. Ever since a young girl, she always felt an attachment to the animals.
Her interest of rearing and caring for animals grew into passion. She was able to hone her skills further by being part of the Village Animal Health Worker (VAHW) training organized through Purnima. As an elderly and ultra-poor-household, her family was identified as a vulnerable members for economic recovery support. She was able to attend 35-days VAHW training where she learned technical skills and practical ideas and received a veterinarian kit box consisting of medical equipment. The training certified her as the first female village animal health worker of Chumnumbri rural municipality in Gorkha.
Ram Kumari received continuous technical support from Purnima during her initial days. Once, a goat tribe in Salleri contracted “Peste des Petis Ruminants (PPR) disease, during which two female goats died. Ram Kumari continuously visited the farm for four days, treating and vaccinating the goats. “I succeeded in saving the remaining goats and prevented the viral disease from spreading into the whole goat community,” shared Ram Kumari, happily. She has been visiting various animal farms for vaccinating and treating to restrict the outbreak. “I am really happy, I am capable of treating these animals,” she added.
Following her passion and becoming financially independent has raised Ram Kumari’s confidence of taking good care of her parents. “At the moment, she is our only hope and she is doing great at what she does,” said Ram Kumari’s father.
Ram Kumari plans to obtain Agro-Vet license so that she could setup Agro Vet shop and provide better service to the people in her community. Since 2019, Purnima has already trained four VAHWs like Ram Kumari in Chumnumbri. As a professional VAHW, she has already served 32 households and the death rate of goats and poultry is decreasing rapidly. Ram Kuamri is easily becoming a well-known contributor in her community. She feels proud to be an only lady VAWH in her rural municipality.
“Ram Kumari is able to provide animal health care service throughout the clock,” shared Ram Gurung, ward Chairperson. “Now, it is our job to support in making her services sustainable as it is a non-conventional job for women, but she proved it otherwise,” he added happily.