Savita Devi from a village in Banka district of the interiors of Bihar has been selected with 10 others by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) for the prestigious Pundit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Antyodaya Krishi Puraskar 2018.
Forty-five-year-old Savita Devi has helped alleviate the economic conditions of marginal farmers and women through dairy and small agriculture works.
Starting a dairy farm run exclusively by women a few years ago, Savita Devi also encouraged them to start cattle farming for increasing the production of milk. “Initially, I faced a lot of problems when I went around the village Sijhua to
motivate womenfolk for starting cattle and dairy farming. Slowly, but gradually they took my advice seriously and have helped change their own financial conditions,” Savita Devi, who has studied up till 10th passed told this reporter.
"My village which was once synonymous with poverty has now beome prosperous."
Dharmendra Kumar, one of the agriculture scientists of Banka Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), who helped Savita Devi said that her contributions have tremendously helped in promoting use the organic goods and animal chocolates.
The animal chocolate, invented by Dharmendra Kumar is widely used by cattle-grazers in the north east districts of Bihar.
“She formed a woman dairy farm in her village. Thanks to her hard work, almost all the women in her village have improved their financial conditions," Kumar said.
The village Sijhua has topped among all villages of Banka, Bhagwalpur, Jamui and Munger districts in terms of milk production through cattle farming.
“I have received an award from Vikramsheela Milk Production Committee in Bhagalpur and even Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in 2018 for my contributions for promoting milk production in remote villages likes Sijhua,” she said.
The Krishi Vigyan Kendra of Banka has covered this village under its agriculture
Bihar and Jharkhand states fall under the zone-V of ICAR.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be awarding Savita Devi on the ICAR Foundation Day and Award ceremony, which is scheduled to be held on July 16 in New Delhi.