BARKAT (in Urdu, Barakah in Arabic Means blessing from Allah (SWT)
In 2012, keeping in view the situation of poverty in rural areas and importance of livestock, TNW Foundation launched a Sharia’h compliant, livestock-based, poverty alleviation initiative “BARKAT” by initially distributing 100 cows (heifer) to small home based livestock farmers on partnership basis along with provision of facilities related to animal health and awareness to get maximum benefit from livestock.
TNW has developed a comprehensive and objectively verifiable beneficiary identification system to select the most deserving recipients in the most vulnerable locales. Inclusiveness is ensured by conducting effective social mobilization campaign, and by taking the female segment on board.
There are several aspects which ensure the suitability of the project including;
- Community adopts it as a noble profession
- The growth and profit in livestock is remarkable/visible
- It is favourable to climate/environment and soil conditions.
- It matches with the values and culture of the rural communities
- It is a self-sustainable model program and creates chain of beneficiaries
- Women are actively engaged, thereby, playing an effective role to support the family
Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) a subsidiary organ of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conducted a research to study the impact of BARKAT program and reported; “it can be concluded that the Barkat Project is a successful project in the field of poverty alleviation and income diversity. It could be an example for the government and non-governmental organizations working in the sector of poverty alleviation and capacity building. In addition, special courses can be offered for the university students living in the selected area with a view to develop a system and properly utilize the cow dung in order to produce biogas for household consumption”.
Since the multifaceted perks range from a deep sense of cultural identity to dignified and sustainable poverty alleviation, there is an overwhelming demand for expansion in the scope of the project beyond District Khanewal.
As a step forward TNW aims to train other developmental actors to replicate the BARKAT model in their respective target areas. The viable gains can easily be multiplied in collaboration with the Government, NGOs and other developmental institutions.
Livestock in rural Pakistan is a way of life that embodies the bond between people, their ancestors and the land. The region is historically linked with the best milk producing cattle and their ownership is considered a source of pride. Thus, it has the potential to play a major role in poverty alleviation in rural areas of Pakistan. In the wake of the ongoing global financial crunch, sustainable livestock sector development serves to contribute to food and nutritional security, thus enhancing broad based economic growth, enriched livelihood and wellbeing of the actors involved in this cycle.