The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Mr Pushkar Singh Dhami launched the ‘A-HELP’ (Accredited Agent for Health and Extension of Livestock Production) programme in the State of Uttarakhand. Addressing the gathering at the Survey of India Auditorium Dehradun, Mr Pushkar Singh Dhami, said that women have played a pivotal role in the formulation and holistic development of the livestock sector especially in Uttarakhand.
“Implementation of various schemes being run by state and central government is not possible without the active participation of women. Already mid-day meal and vaccination programs are being successfully operated by ‘ASHAS’/women in anganwadis and schools. In this context, women have been chosen to strengthen livestock-related activities in remote rural areas, keeping in mind their important role under the same under A-HELP scheme, envisioned by Govt. of India.
Under this program, trained A-HELPs will give their vital contribution to preventing various infectious diseases of animals, artificial insemination under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM), tagging of animals and animal insurance. He further said that “it will be an incomparable example of incorporation and involvement of women power, for socio-economic upliftment as per the vision of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi Ji.
Shri Saurabh Bahuguna, the Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, Uttarakhand Government, highlighted the significant role of women in livestock rearing and allied activities. Although the livestock sector offers tremendous opportunities for women till now institutional support was lacking. This gap will be filled with the launch of the A-HELP program, he added.
Ms Varsha Joshi, Additional Secretary, (CDD), Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, AH and Dairying, Government of India explained the concept of A-HELP and congratulated the State Govt. for being one of the best States with a growing livestock sector. She further added that this New band of community-based functionaries, named Accredited Agent for Health and Extension of Livestock Production (A-HELP) has been formulated to fill the void between local veterinary institutions and livestock owners and provide primary services.
Ms Joshi added that under RGM, livestock breeds improvement programs will be conducted with the help of a large number of trained A-HELP workers who are interested in performing Artificial Insemination by providing them additional training. These A-HELP workers will also be instrumental in the implementation of the Livestock Insurance Scheme as well as other interventions for which they will be provided remuneration as per the provisions of the scheme which will help in providing them with some income and financial security.
Dr B.V.R.C. Purushottam, Secretary of Animal Husbandry in Uttarakhand, said that new initiatives taken in the convergence of two Ministries- Animal Husbandry and Rural Development through National Rural Livelihood Mission will help in filling the gap between Farmers and Veterinary health services. The programme will ensure the economic upliftment of livestock owners along with the active participation and involvement of women’s power. The A-HELP will serve as the organic link between the livestock farmers and the veterinary services and become the” first port of call” in times of need of the farmers, he added.
The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) has launched the novel initiative through an MoU signed between DAHD and the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) under the Department of Rural Development (DoRD), Govt. of India. The primary responsibility of an A-HELP worker is to address the healthcare needs of the livestock population in a village. The programme was successfully piloted in the State of Madhya Pradesh and J&K (UT). The event had more than 500 participants including Progressive farmers and Pashu Sakhis.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by pib.