These videos were taken on a dairy farm (in Jabalpur, Central India) which cultivates about 25 acres of berseem clover. A substantial amount of berseem is cut daily to feed their dairy animals. Traditionally, this work is done by women with sickles. Swapnil and her brother Prashant traveled from Kanpur, UP to Jabalpur, MP to train these local women to use scythes.
Swapnil first joined the Vikalp Team in 2020 as an assistant who answered phone inquiries. Soon she was interested in learning to use a scythe herself, and became proficient in its use.
Swapnil gave her first training to women in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, in 2021. She has a natural way to connect with female farm workers and instruct them how to use a scythe. Since then, she has traveled to various regions of India (Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh) to demonstrate the use of the scythe and share her skills with many female farm workers. And the local women are learning fast how to use scythes.
As you can see in this video, using a scythe can be really contagious, especially when the only other available option is a sickle. In comparison to a sickle, while a scythe is still easy to use, it is much faster for cutting berseem.
Introducing a scythe to female farm labourers is a great way to support them. Thank you, Swapnil!
Video source: YouTube Channel Vikalp