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Rukkhi Devi’s husband,Huklum Ram with their 5 daughters,
Raju, Seema, Godavari, Puja and Jyotsana.


2011 has been a good year for Rukkhi Devi, 45, of villageThukriyasar in Bikaner district of Rajasthan. This mother of eight children (twoboys and six girls) lives in a desert village. The good monsoon in the mid-yearresulted in work for everyone and wages from agriculture labor that sustainedthem. After many years they have had enough grain to last the year round.Theyear was even better as they received vegetable seeds and two goats from Heifer India. They had a cow but bought a bull this year, with the purpose oftransportation to their fields which are a way off in the sandy desert. Boththeir goats had kids, one male one female, and their cow also had a calf.Milk and income from the animals has added to the family’s well-being. RukkhaDevi feels that the trainings received also helped them in this process. This is especially true of the Cornerstone training, which has changed their lives. From this training theyhave learned how to “live a fulfilling and complete life.” It helped the community, as Rukkhi says, “now we think of how we can give more.”
Rukhhi Devi, Hukma Ram, son Kanyalal (6) daughters Puja (3) and
Godavari (8).

After having eight children, Rukkhi has ultimately decided thatthese many are enough and she has also started sending two of her daughters toschool and plans to send the others as well. One of her daughters is mentallychallenged, and this gives her reason to worry.

With life looking up she hopes that the future will bebetter — not only for her and her family but also for the village community asshe says, “I feel that one experiences true happiness when giving and it alsobuilds the relationship between people. All the trainings that I have received,I have internalized and shared with my family and neighbors. I have gifted thevegetables I grew and if someone visits our group I always find something smallto share with them”.

Rukkhi Devi is raising the young goat kid well and hopes thatshe will have another one before the end of the year so that she can gift it tosomeone like herself and help them to make changes in their lives.

Editor's note: This post is the first from India in a new series that follows the progress of specific families, starting at the beginning of their work with Heifer. Initially, this series will focus on our programs in Asia/South Pacific, where our colleagues have chosen one family in each region in the countries where we work and will bring us quarterly updates.


Heifer India