Jaishree Bane

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Jaishree is passionate about her idea – that instead of each family member working separately, farming done collectively can be profitable if the family works together.Her mission is to make farming profitable, by getting joint families to do farming together and also form women’s farming groups. At the community level, Jaishree wants to make transportation affordable, by routing a government transport bus or S.T. bus through her village.

Jaishree is from Morvad, a small village in Latur district. Her dream sounds like something out of a soap opera. She strongly believes in the joint family system from not just a social perspective, but a very fundamental economic perspective.

The culture of nuclear families is spreading to villages as well. Families are breaking up, parents and children are living separately. But unlike urban areas, where the children move out to a new home, in villages the same small home is divided into different parts. The land – which is not much to start with – is divided and further divided again – leaving little for any one nuclear family to survive on. Through her own experience of living through breaking up a joint family and living together again, Jaishree has seen the hidden connection between the rural joint family system and economic self-reliance. Who would have thought of that?

Jaishree is passionate about her idea – that instead of each family member working separately, farming done collectively can be profitable if the family works together. Jaishree experienced success with just one vegetable crop, earning Rs. 45,000 in a few months, achieving respect and acquiring a new identity – that of a farmer.

With the support of a joint family, with grandparents at home for childcare, women are free to leave their homes and work on the farms or seek other livelihoods.

Jaishree’s own family is a prime example of how the family as a unit is doing profitable farming; family health has improved, and they have better savings and a steady income.

Jaishree is confident of using her Fellowship this year to bring about a mini revolution for small farmers. Her mission is to make farming profitable, by getting joint families to farm together and also form women’s farming groups.

At the community level, Jaishree wants to make transportation affordable, by routing a government transport bus or S.T. bus through her village. Today, it costs Rs. 50 one way for anyone from her village to access the nearest market, school or health center. A bus service will bring this cost down to Rs. 5 and a bus will help children, especially girls, continue their schooling, and senior citizens access healthcare – all at a low cost.