My Story: Basavannevva

Hello Basavannevva, how are you doing? Just wondered if we could talk about yourself?

Thanks. I’m doing fine. Ask away.

I would like to know about how you are getting on with your life? Particularly, the everyday challenges you face and how you have overcome them?

I am a married woman with two teenage boys. My husband Gadagin is a farmer. We live in Baraduru village which is situated in Mundergi Taluk in Gadag District. I was born and brought up by my parents who are both from farming families. We come from the village of Talakala situated in Koppal District. Unfortunately, I contracted Polio at the age of six. Back then, Polio was quite rampant and very little was known about it especially in rural communities. My parents were worried and they did the best they could. I grew with the condition and was fortunate enough to complete schooling.

Being married into a farming household puts a lot of pressure on you. Due to weakened limbs and reduced bone density I’m unable to do as much as I would like to, especially on the farm.

It is frustrating not being able to do the things you want to and have to depend on others to help out. I do what I can and help out. I take care of two cows and the two bulls we have at home. With help I also attend to the fields. I have acquired enough tailoring skills to stitch clothes for members of my family.

So what are your hopes and aspirations?

I would like to see a few things change. Social attitudes about disability and especially women with disabilities. One shouldn’t have to prove ones worth to others. I also think something should be done to see that small milk producers like me receiving a better price for their produce. Even with the marginal support added by the government to the purchase price, milk producers are finding it very difficult.

Recently, I have installed a small photo copier at home. Was not sure how this would work out. I’m glad that it is helping people in the community as there is no facility to photocopy stuff. With people using it has given me an additional source of income.

The continued support and encouragement that I receive from you and your colleagues at DEAL Foundation has helped me a lot. In particular, the training sessions on farm based livelihoods organized by you have given me the confidence that I can access the right information and support that I need.

As you know I would like to set up a small enterprise by installing a vermicelli making unit as one is not there in this or neighboring villages. I look forward to the support from DEAL Foundation to get this up and running.  This will add another income generation stream and will help me stay engaged and productive. I’ll go further and say that this gives me hope for the future.

Finally, I would like to see some provision in the form of a Polio Follow-up clinic to help people in my situation. Currently I just depend on going to the local doctor who can only offer medical intervention and not therapeutic or rehabilitation support.

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