Pashu Sakhi


Pashu Sakhi (Livestock Nurse)

Pashu Sakhi

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What is Pashu Sakhi (Livestock Nurse) ?

Pashu Nurse is a semi literate or illiterate women trained under structured classrooms & field practice and then review and support in field work over a period of one year to provide basic improved practices knowledge and preventative and herb based home remedies at low cost and first symptom. Basically she is a goat rearer herself who demonstrates, advocates and disseminates knowledge and skill actively for betterment of her nearby goat farmers within the village. Experiences by a number of grass root organizations suggests that a village based knowledge extension service cum preventative health care service through training local small livestock farming women had proven an effective strategy to improve management and reduce mortality & morbidity on significant scale.

Our Innovation

The Key innovation of the organisations is decentralized community managed livestock health care services backed by integration of capacity building and mainstream linkages, Organisations replicated idea of Pashu Nurse by training semi literate rural poor women from high small livestock density village to provide regular information and first aid services with following distinct qualities-

  • Door step, on time services
  • First aid at first symptom
  • Low cost services
  • Women accessible services
  • Integration of knowledge and skills with product & services
  • Community Insurance with community led services

The uniqueness of approach had been on following points –

  • Empowering rural poor women to take lead in goat health & productivity enhancement.
  • Demonstration, demystification and promotion by local livestock rearing women.
  • and command to community to select and own service provider.
  • Decentralisation of animal management knowledge and services.
  • Community insurance to make system responsible and effective.
  • Development of participatory training tools and process to build local capacity.
  • Linkages with mainstream on business terms.
  • Modifying livestock management approach from delivery to demand based.
  • Creating village level learning and discussion platform by Bakari Paalak Pathshaala facilitation.
  • Sustaining pashu sakhi on input and small business rather than only treatment.

Major Role of Pashu Sakhi

  • Periodic field visit to assess productivity, health conditions and provide knowledge on improved management to small livestock farmers.
  • Provide routine services like castration, hoof trimming, wound dressing.
  • Awareness about symptoms of contagious diseases, vaccination and preventative practices.
  • Organise small meetings of small livestock farmers in village and awareness generation on endo and ecto parasites life cycle and management.
  • Attend kidding process in goats and manatain hygiene and sanitation.
  • Facilitate Small livestock farmer’s chaupaal (Bakari Paalak Paathshaala) as experiential learning platform in the village.
  • Provide herbal and homeopathic first aid to minor ailments in small livestock.
  • Awareness on government and non government programs for livestock and process details.
  • Disease outspread surveillance and Refer acute cases for treatment to veterinary hospitals.
Output /Impact

Output of Pashu Nurse Promotion has shown positive impact-

On Pashu Nurse Level Sample based studies had shown that Pashu Nurse had a positive social image as provider of critical service and knowledge disseminator. Pashu Nurse had been able to earn Rs 800 to Rs 2000 as an additional income through services and self improved goat farming. Attitude of male especially from higher caste but engaged in goat farming has shown dramatic change towards such women as on need she had been requested to serve and provide basic care to their economic assets. Within family image of Pashu Nurse including son and husband had shown positive change due to economic contribution and a knowledge which has respect in society. Pashu Sakhi had her name now take more affectionately and sometimes called as “doctor didi” (The Goat Trust strictly opposes any such comparision) by villagers.

Goat Farming women The first impact assessed had been on enhanced confidence of women goat farmers to access regular health check up and improved practice knowledge. Adoption of key management practices has shown following increment in Jharkhand under Jharkhand State Rural Livelhoods promotion Society supported project –

S. No Key practices Baseline (Before Pashu Nurse) Endline (After Pashu Nurse working for 18 Months)
1 Proper Goat Enclosure 10% 65%
2 Green Fodder stand 5% 85%
3 Feeding Manger 10% 55%
4 Vaccination 5% 90%
5 Deworming 10% 86%
6 Cleaning of shed 35% 65%
7 Goat Milk consumption 2% 35%

Return on Investment

  • Major outcome has been on reducing loss of productive livestock assets by rural poor. As per preliminary finding, annual mortality of goats has shown sharp reduction from 26% to 6% in the all five project locations.
  • Estimated asset worth of Rs 35 Lakh saved annually. 72% of such increased income has gone in hands of women and had been used in women areas of concern like purchase of food, clothes, Making kitchens, Latrines.
  • Drudgery of goat rearing business like travelling long distances to graze goats by women has shown declining trend due to alternative feed options propagated by Pashu Nurse.
  • One of significant impact has been observed on enhancing income of families from goat farming through over 3500 improved kids born in the range of Rs 400 to 500 per kid, making it worth of Rs 15.75 Lakh.
  • A few sample case studies had shown that 32% of income had been passed to daughters as assets or gifts or meeting social obligations like marriages.
  • Goat rearing profession has also get enhanced social acceptance by infusion of technologies like improved housing, enclosure, feeding manger, watering turf and practices like tools use in castration. Castration as a practice was almost non existent in the area, which has been rapidly under adoption now.
  • New practices and knowledge has also reduced drudgery of the goat farming and a new look to business have been made possible.
  • Women trained as Pashu Nurse has been socially and financially empowered and had been able to crate and identity of barefoor goat doctors (doctor didi) in the area. Male attitude towards Pashu nurse including within household recognition has shown positive impact.

Our Future Plan

Based on present achievements, we plan to promote 5000 Pashu Nurses to reach 250000 goat farming families. Enhance Pashu Nurse capacities and use them as village level livestock service provider and market agent to build a community based livestock marketing system through use of web based data analysis report.


Livestock Nurse is a sustainable approach as caters to prime need of small livestock farmers. As service is a demand based and service is offered on most competitive rate by the person from same village, its need and payment shall sustain till livestock farming remains a part of livelihoods in rural areas.

Financial sustainability

Livestock Nurse is a community chosen technically trained professional, catering to a critical need of livestock farmers i.e enhancing access to knowledge and products for improved and profitable livestock farming. Livestock Nurse apart from earning by service charges of vaccination, deworming and regular health care practices (first aid & basic medication) had been engaged in kids rearing nursery and own goat farm management. Project is providing small loan to livestock Nurse to start some of potential identified activities as business –

  • Selective kids rearing (Kids nursery) – can earn Rs 2000 per kid and with 5 kids earn Rs 10000 on six monthly basis.
  • Livestock Input services – Feed , fodder seeds, mineral mixture, herbal medicines.
  • Linkage with Live body wt marketing – The Goat Trust procures quality goats through Livestock nurse and provides Rs 200 per goat as procurement charges.
  • Vaccination Deworming & First aid services to Poultry, Large ruminants along with goats – this generates additional revenue to Pashu Sakhi.
  • Bakari khaad procurement and Supply.
  • Rearing of Bakra id bucks (Kurbani Bucks).
  • Community Training.
  • Credit cum Insurance facilitation.
  • Petty shop.

Social Sustainability -

We have planned training schedules and refresher for trained Community Livestock Manager (CLM) and Pashu sakhies at regular interval and based on field performance grading. We have developed grading system for performance and based on field performance, their further capacity building is planned. Trainer do make field visits to assess further capacity building needs and plan new training based on area and farmer’s expectation and pashu sakhi capacity assessment. We have also designed proper dress and upgraded kits based on emerging needs from field. In fact capacity building is a continuous process at The Goat Trust and we had been contiously upgrading modules, tools and perspectives.

Exit strategy -

Present exit strategy is to technically capacitate Pashu Sakhi and strengthen GRG (goat Rearer Group) at each village level and promote marketing on live body weight at cluster level. As Pashu sakhi services are needed over a period of time and GRG has its own agenda to work on collective issues and market development, we would exit once social institutions like GRGs are able to handle collective village level work.


Enhancing technical capacity of illiterate or semi literate rural goat farming women is fraught with challenges of demystifying terms and words. A rigrous work on picture and colour based training methodology, enhancing confidence is required.

Investment required over almost 18 months to provide regular field and institutional support to survive and perform. A cadre of sensitive and skilled grass root workers , government officers are required to trust and help such women, which is limiting factor in its replication.

Limitation and way forward

This model only works in high livestock density area, where knowledge and basic services are critical constraint. However model is yet to be tested for linking with market related role of Pashu Nurse and The Goat Trust is piloting now capacitating these nurses to estimate and assess live body weight pricing of small livestock and facilitate market linkages.

Promotion Process –

Criteria based selection by Goat farmers – One day orientation by Trained Field worker- 5 days residential training at Location – 3 months assignment in field – Fortnightly meeting (Technical support & Review) – 4 days Refresher training at The Goat Trust- 6 Months field work – Final 4 days training at The Goat Trust

Pashu Sakhi promotion status –
Year wise Pashu Sakhi Training data
Year Total Number of Pashu Sakhi Trained States Covered
2011-12 39 U.P, Bihar, M.P, Rajasthan
2012-13 140 Rajasthan, M.P, U.P, Rajasthan
2013-14 638 Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka , U.P
2014-15 912 Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Telangana, U.P, West Bengal, M.P, Chattisgarh, Bundelkhand, Bihar , Tripura
Total 1729
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