8 Mar 2024

How pilot drone didis in Madhya Pradesh are gearing up to strengthen state's farm based-economy

The rural women trained in operating drone are gearing up to positively change the prevailing farm scenario in Madhya Pradesh. Farmers will find an army of lady drone pilots to help them in spraying fertilizers and monitoring crops in sizeable fields. 

Rural women are flying drones now. Rural women members of Self Help Groups efficiently operating drone remote symbolise technological empowerment of women in rural Madhya Pradesh. Armed with technological knowledge, their confidence level has gone high. They have proved that with a little support from the Government they can do wonders.

Bhagwati learned to fly drone from MITS Gwalior

Bhagwati Ahirwar of Basai village of Datia district is a member of Suhani Self-Help Group. She is working with the group since 2021. This group makes organic fertilizers. Bhagwati learned to fly drone from MITS Gwalior. She first heard about drones from the Rural Livelihood Mission team members. When she came to know that it is useful in farming, she expressed her keenness to learn it and increase the use of technology in farming while making farmers aware of the benefits.

Sharing her experience, she says she is more now confident. Learning and connecting with new technology is a new experience. Earlier we used to consider tractor as a big machine. Now we realise that the drone is going to be even more useful than the tractor.

She tells that her husband is very happy to see her flying the drone. The village people are also very happy. About future planning, she says that spraying organic fertilizers through drones will now be a main farm activity. I want to associate more women with this.

Geeta also got training from MITS Gwalior

Geeta Kushwaha of Pipraua village of Indargarh tehsil of the same district is a member of Maa Ratangarh self-help group since 2016. This group is making women aware of socio-economic issues. She got training from MITS Gwalior.

She says that drones have now become necessary to minimise the burden of farming and for good production. She says that she is very happy and confidence level has increased manifold. Everyone in the village has been supportive. Now I have become an inspiration for many youth in my village, she adds.

Khushboo from Dongarpur Lodha village of Morena district has been associated with Kali Self Help Group for the last four years. She says that while working in the group, she learned a lot like doing online transactions and recharge and learned many new technologies. 

Seeing the drone, it felt like flying a kite: Khushboo

She says a call from a staff member of Livelihood Mission in December for drone training changed my perception. I said yes for the training. She was excited to learn drones. Seeing the drone, it felt like flying a kite. After knowing the benefits of the drone, she became even more happy. Sharing her experience, she says that after training, she learnt to control drones and how to make videos at the time of take-off and landing. She says that she can earn well by helping farmers. Family members are fully supporting Khushboo because she has learned a lot at a young age. She has also been able to help the family.

Raidi of Ublad village of Jobat tehsil of Alirajpur district has been working in Bad Falya Self Help Group for the last three years.  She received training from Soaring Aerotech Private Limited, Prestige Organization, Indore. Why was there a need to learn to fly a drone? When asked, she said that it has now become necessary in farming and it will become easier for farmers to spray fertilizers. This can also be helpful to earn livelihoods.

While sharing her experience of flying the drone, she says that while flying the drone, it felt like flying a small helicopter. She says that the people of the village were not aware of this technology. But after drone training, when everyone was told about the new technology, everyone was happy. 

Kamla Yadav of Hara Tola Aloni of Amarpur development block of Dindori district has been associated with Jai Maa Bhavani Self Help Group for the last one and a half years. This group provides support to women for small scale industries at the local level. She has been engaged in farming for 15 years. When she came to know about drones, she came forward and enrolled herself as trainee. 

Employment prospects

As many as 89 rural women of Madhya Pradesh have received training in flying drones. This is possible in 15 days training. The drone pilot can get an honorarium of up to Rs 15,000 and the co-pilot can get around Rs 10,000. 

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