In the heart of tribal Sonewadi, Nashik, Geeta Sitaram Ughade, a resilient 27-year-old mother of two, has become a local legend known as ‘Doctor Tai.’ Born into poverty, Geeta’s trajectory from a farm laborer to a professional goat rearer reflects a transformative story of empowerment and community impact.
Facing financial constraints, Geeta, a brilliant student, had to abandon formal education in the 8th grade. Undeterred, she joined her parents as a daily farm laborer. Marriage came early at 15, and together with her husband, they struggled in the fields, trapped in the cycle of poverty.
Geeta’s life took a turn in 2016 when she joined Yuva Mitra’s Pashu Sakhi Program. Undergoing an 8-day training program, she mastered goat rearing techniques, disease diagnosis, and vaccination. Geeta’s newfound skills turned her into a local ‘Veterinary Doctor’—the go-to person for ailing goats in Sonewadi.
Inspired by Geeta’s success, she formed a Joint Liability Group (JLG) of goat rearer women, instilling professionalism and skill in her community. Geeta’s impact reached beyond Sonewadi; even the older generation now affectionately calls her ‘Doctor Tai.’
Anusaya Sahebrao Ughade, influenced by Geeta, recently joined the Pashu Sakhi program. Anusaya, realizing the urgent need for proper goat care in her hamlet, aspires to bring about a positive change with the training received at Yuva Mitra.
Geeta’s influence is not just anecdotal; it’s measured in changed lives. Kisnabai Sukdeo Ughade, a sixty-year-old beneficiary, vividly remembers the days of selling goats at meager prices due to water and fodder scarcity. Yuva Mitra’s interventions, including Geeta’s veterinary expertise, transformed the situation. With improved water availability, fodder management, and transparent transactions, Kisnabai no longer witnesses losses due to diseases. Geeta’s role as a ‘Doctor Tai’ has not only saved goats but also elevated the profitability and fairness in transactions for goat rearer families.
Geeta Ughade’s journey encapsulates the transformative impact of empowering women in rural communities. Through education, training, and community support, Yuva Mitra is creating a cadre of skilled women breaking free from poverty’s chains and reshaping the economic landscape of their villages. Geeta’s story is more than personal triumph—it’s a beacon of hope for rural women seeking a path to economic independence and community upliftment.