"My heart used to weep seeing my husband struggling to earn a decent income from his crop. And it wasn’t just him. The local moneylenders and middlemen were making farmers’ lives in our village miserable. I wanted to help, but how? I had never even stepped out of the house ever before!
When ACF offered to train me as an Agri Extension Worker in 2007, I faced big problems convincing my mother in law to let me do it. She was totally against me going around the village and talking to groups of men about farming. But this was the least of the problems I would face. People made fun of me, made allegations and often were heard saying, “Don’t know where does she go all alone far away from the village. What does she want to learn now after marriage and after having two kids?”
But I was adamant.
Working closely with ACF we helped farmers increase farm productivity, improve financial access and eliminate middlemen from the value chain. Farmers are now earning better, and their families are leading a better life. It took time, but soon I started to gain respect. This encouraged me to go one step further and soon I was chosen as the Vice Chairperson of the Village Development Committee.
But why stop there? ACF offered to also train me as a Sakhi and so I took that up as well.” - Vimalbai Kodape, Dhanakdevi, Chandrapur, Maharashtra.