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Rani Devi's Journey from Household Bound to Harvesting Success Through Farming Innovation Empowering Women

Rani Devi, overcoming societal barriers, transformed from a marginalized daughter-in-law into a pioneering figure in women's empowerment, leading a successful initiative to promote Direct Sowing of Rice (DSR) and improved farming practices in Bihar.

Shivangi Rai
Despite these obstacles, Rani Devi joined Corteva and PRADAN’s initiative as a Community Resource Person (CRP) to train farmers on Direct Sowing of Rice (DSR) and improved farming practices.
Despite these obstacles, Rani Devi joined Corteva and PRADAN’s initiative as a Community Resource Person (CRP) to train farmers on Direct Sowing of Rice (DSR) and improved farming practices.

"Gharki bahu bahar jaegi, anjan logo se milegi, toh log kya kahenge" — these were just a few of the daunting obstacles that Rani Devi, a strong and compassionate woman from the village of Pandpa in block Nardiganj, district Nawada, Bihar, had to overcome on her path to becoming a shining example of women empowerment.

Rani Devi lost her mother at a young age and as her father found it difficult to rear several children, she was married off very early in life. Her aspirations for education were put on hold after marriage, and she could only study until Class 10. She was married into a household where her husband was indifferent to the needs of his family, Rani Devi faced taunts and curses from her in-laws.

As a daughter-in-law from an upper-caste household, she encountered biases and challenges. Trapped in the monotonous cycle of household chores, she yearned to break free from the confines of her existence.

Two years ago, Rani Devi embarked on a journey of self-discovery, realizing that her daily routine lacked meaning and satisfaction. However, stepping outside her home became a battle against her entire household, who vehemently opposed her decision. They feared that her interactions with strangers would tarnish their family's reputation.

Despite these obstacles, Rani Devi joined Corteva and PRADAN’s initiative as a Community Resource Person (CRP) to train farmers on Direct Sowing of Rice (DSR) and improved farming practices.

The initial year was arduous for her, as she had never stepped out of her home and did not receive the desired support from her family.

Rani Devi's commitment and the tangible results achieved through implementing DSR on her 0.6 acre land are remarkable. With the support of Corteva and PRADAN, she achieved a productivity of 14.5 quintals, surpassing the 12 quintals obtained through traditional transplantation methods.

As a result, Rani Devi earned an extra income of INR 5000 from DSR. This showcases the transformative impact of Corteva's support in empowering women farmers like Rani Devi. Through the adoption of DSR, there have been improvements in yields, resource efficiency, and the reliability of farming practices. Also, it contributed to a sustainable ecosystem and promoted gender equality in agriculture.

Witnessing Rani Devi's unwavering commitment to her work, her husband began supporting her and treating her with respect and dignity. He accompanied her during fieldwork and took equal responsibility for their children and family. These two years brought about a revolutionary transformation in Rani Devi's life, and she now actively advocates for women's empowerment.

Rani Devi now serves as an active ambassador for DSR, supporting farmers through training and guidance. Her leadership and experience have enabled her to reach out to 117 farmers, who have cultivated DSR on 83 acres of land under her guidance.

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