Aswathy Santhosh of Payyanur in Kannur has varied interests. She has a craze for vehicles, but studied fashion designing. However, when choosing a career, the 24-year-old decided on cattle rearing.
The young woman prefers to call herself a dairy farmer now. She has around 10 cows in her farm. Moreover, Aswathy is particular that she herself should look after every need of the cows.
A love affair with cattle
Aswathy will not hesitate to express her affection for cows and spends almost the entire day with her cattle. “Every day, I wake up at 4 am and reach the farm, which is 7 km away, by 5 am. I myself milk the cows; take the milk to the houses where it is sold and also to the Milma collecting centre. Meanwhile, I also wash the cattle,” says Aswathy.
She then remains at the farm till noon petting her cows and even engaging in small talk with them. In the afternoon, Aswathy travels 36 km from Payyanur to Kannur city to collect feed for her cows. She drives her own pick-up van for the purpose.
Vegetables to be fed to the cows are taken from the Puthiyatheru and Haji Road markets in the city. Aswathy picks up one load of vegetables for them. Many acquaintances at the market help Aswathy load the sacks of vegetables on to the van. She then drives back to the farm. After the work there, Aswathy often reaches home only by 8 pm.
The farm was started by Aswathy three years ago. But she has loved cows from a very young age. “When I was a small child, there were cows and goats in our house. I had struck a bond with them since then. So when I later decided to turn an entrepreneur, the first thought that came to my mind was cattle rearing,” she reveals.
The farm was started with just two cows. Later with a subsidized loan, Aswathy expanded the venture. Soon she had 30 cows. However, the outbreak of a disease made it difficult for the young woman to look after so many animals all by herself. “In such a situation, I was forced to sell some of my cows,” informs Aswathy.
At home, she has good support for her venture from her parents, brother and husband. “Nobody forces me to do anything. They have not compelled me to pursue a career in fashion designing even though I have done a course on the subject. I have been given the freedom to do whatever I like,” says the enterprising young lady.
However, as she is fully engaged with her work the entire day, Aswathy has handed over the task of looking after her five-year-old daughter Gaya to her mother.
Vehicles too thrill her
Every day, Aswathy drives her pick-up van 36 km to Kannur. But she never gets weary. In fact, she enjoys the drive. “It was my after who taught me driving while I was younger. The first vehicle I tried was an auto-rickshaw. Later, I secured a heavy driving licence and can handle most types of vehicles,” she says. Aswathy also has a national permit.
Aswathy and her husband Santhosh had set out on an adventure last year. They had travelled to Leh and Ladakh on a bike and the 21-day trip covered 10,600 km.
Aswathy’s husband operates a Tavera and she is always prepared to take its passengers to their destination in case Santhosh has any inconvenience.