[India] Women Herders Bring Change

Women herders
Suma Bhen, a camel breeder in the western Indian state of Gujarat, and her two daughters. Image: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

KUTCH, India, Jun 18 2014 (IPS) – When Sangan Bhai, a humble man in the Kutch region of India’s western state of Gujarat, was offered a position as an executive member of the local camel breeder’s association, he made a decision that surprised his community: instead of accepting the prestigious post he offered his wife’s name instead.

Meera Bhen, the only woman in the area to have attended school – albeit only up to the fourth grade – was more than willing to step up to the challenge.

Now, Meera Bhen is making history, not just locally but nationally, as her brainchild for the 350-member breeder’s association, known as the Kutch Unt Uchherak Maldhari Sangathan (KUUMS), begins to bear fruit . . .

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