Gifting Prosperity: A Tale from SamudayFebruary 14, 2020
In India, a very distinct and common memory from everyone’s childhood happens to be of mothers making sure no bowl went back empty to the neighbour’s. In return for some delicacy that they had shared with us, she made sure the emotion was sincerely reciprocated with a homemade delicacy of her own.
The culture of gifting and sharing is an innate emotion in our country. It is what lends warmth and cordiality to our social conduct. It comes straight from the heart. The earliest recorded instance of gifting dates back to ancient times and according to the Bhagvad Gita, the practice of dana or bequeathing gifts was considered holy and auspicious.
The emotions and earthiness of human interactions are apparent across communities in rural India. The simple idea of sowing hard work and reaping benefits still remains ingrained within the psyche and practices of rural communities. Sharing opportunities and supporting neighbours, getting together and contributing towards the betterment of lives, is the essence of rural life even when access to information and opportunities are limited in certain areas.
While utilising the culture of Gifting to create a Socioeconomic model of development for Rural India, HCL Samuday has initiated a strategic tool to build a well rounded, independent and sustainable community of people. This community is trained to generate employment from start to end, with the help of the emotion of gifting, under the livelihood segment of their CSR initiative in Hardoi.
Goat farming intervention, a system of goat rearing, helps in building a community of independent, employed and empowered villagers, from existing Self Help Groups (SHG). The cycle starts by inducting a cluster of members with the necessary training in goat rearing.
Before Goat induction to beneficiary, HCL Samuday assures their contribution of two female goats of six months each, irrespective of any breed. After that, two goats (10-12 months young) and one buck (in a group of 20 beneficiaries each) of Barbari breed are inducted. Next step is calving and passing of one productive asset i.e., three month’s young female offspring goat to the other needy members of the women SHG and this gifting goes on until every beneficiary is done with the passing of productive assets to other beneficiaries of the SHGs.
This way, the end of the cycle brings forth enhanced livelihood opportunities, improved economic situation and the emotion of being a close-knit community that helps in growing and thriving together, without the involvement of any third-party mediator.
For Pinki and Suman, Goatery intervention and the gifting module have helped them turn their lives around entirely. Pinki, from Motikheda Village in Hardoi, was already trained in goat farming. She helped Suman by inducting her into the process and gifting her an off-spring to build her own unit. Both these women were able to uplift their economic conditions by helping other women through the gifting module.
“I want all the women around me to know that you need to get out of your houses, it will not help you meet new people but will help increase your knowledge”, Pinki says while striving to work towards her and her children’s futures.
For Suman, who hails from the same village, life is all about confidence. She grows everyday along with her SHG sisters.
“Goatry is not only helping me save for my daughters’ future but is also helping us women gain what we somewhere lost in our childhood. We have the opportunity today to help our children create a difference in their future,” she says.
Together with the concept of gifting, a sense of belongingness and community building is instilled. When a member gains from goat farming and passes on the knowledge to the next member, a cycle is completed. This system generates conversations around the need to be self-dependent, ways to improve economic opportunities and builds
confidence. It reinforces the culture of friendliness and warmth while helping them generate adequate revenue to uplift their life state. This initiative shows that with the right thought and intent, simple acts of warmth and kindness can be used to facilitate thriving economic opportunities.