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Ulasi Mahanta

February 28, 2019

For years, Ulasi and her family struggled daily. They often had little to no money, which meant she, her husband and children often went without food and other basic necessities. Ulasi tried raising chickens to ease their financial difficulties, but a lack of resources and understanding meant she had trouble maintaining even a meager flock of three to four birds.

But things began to change for Ulasi after joining a self-help group . The trainings provided by the project taught her proper flock management techniques, and she now has a flock of nearly 100 healthy birds.

Her new-found knowledge and access to resources allowed her to venture out and raise Banraja chickens. The Banraja chicken has unique taste and is in high demand, so Ulasi is able to sell more birds of that variety. This has significantly increased her income. She is able to make a profit of about 60 rupees (85 cents) per Banraja chicken.

With more income, the family’s economic status and quality of life have substantially improved. Ulasi is now able to send her children to better schools, as well as purchase seeds and fertilizers for other sources of food and income. She also has the opportunity to use her money to socialize with her friends.

Ulasi feels much more confident as a decision maker in her household because of her new skills. Her husband and son seek her suggestions on major decisions like tractor and fertilizer use.

The family’s overall health has also improved. As her production improved, Ulasi’s family also increased their consumption of chicken and eggs, which are both sources of high-quality protein. She estimates they ate about 200 eggs throughout the year and increased their meat consumption, particularly during the festival season.

And while Ulasi’s life is drastically different now, she sees opportunities to keep growing. She wants to scale her production to 1,000 birds, but knows she’ll need improved feed, more manpower and help marketing the product. She hopes Hatching Hope will help her take the next steps to improve her production and achieve economic sustainability.