Sarita Devi, the wife of Ruplal Kataria, lived like many other people in Jhikli, a village in the Kushalgarh tehsil in Banswara district of south Rajasthan, with modest resources. She worked from morning till night on her 4 bighas of land and also went for odd jobs in other people's fields. She had been helping her parents with farming since childhood and continued this support even after her marriage by working in the fields with her husband. But despite all her efforts, her situation did not change. Now, at the age of 45, she has spent more than two decades in poverty without any improvement in her circumstances.

Banswara, the eastern part of South Rajasthan, is a mountainous region mainly dependent on rain-fed agriculture. The main crops grown here are cotton, maize, lentils, urad beans, mung beans, rijqa rice, etc. Farmers in the lower-lying areas also grow rice. Due to lack of water, these crops provided food and economic needs to some families for two to three months, but it was not enough to sustain their livelihood. Due to this situation, Savita Devi and her husband Ruplal also went to Surat in Gujarat to find work. However, as there was no employment available there either, she returned to the village. To earn a living, Savita Devi started small-scale activities such as rearing goats and cattle rearing. However, there was a lack of adequate knowledge and as a result, there was no significant improvement in her livelihood. Although the region was always rich in natural resources, the communities lacked sufficient income due to unsustainable practices.

In 2018, things slowly started to change when Savita Devi joined the group 'Saksham Samuh', which advocates for gender equality and women's empowerment in all areas. In collaboration with Vaagdhara, she started the Multi-Purpose Plantation Program to replicate the 'Vadi' model throughout the village. With the support of the Saksham group, Sarita Devi grew around 40 different types of plants in an orchard. Through this program, she realized how she could benefit from high-yield crop cultivation. As a result, she generated more income and received guidance on how to integrate these improvements into her livelihood and that of her five family members. Sarita Devi attended training on intercropping techniques and purchased high-quality traditional seeds for her farmland, including bamboo, mango, lemon, and guava. As part of this program, work was also carried out on soil conservation methods through mulching, and a pump for irrigation was installed in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. This helped her to grow vegetables in the nutrient oasis and irrigate her fields, which quickly became a reliable and sustainable source of income for her family. This type of agriculture led to an improvement in the nitrogen content of the soil and an increase in soil moisture. As a result, agricultural costs decreased and production increased.

After making these changes, she immediately set up a rainwater harvesting system in her field, which ensures that sufficient water is available for irrigation and the increasing productivity remains sustainable in the years to come. Today, she earns an income of INR 65,000 a year from selling vegetables and fruits and has seen an increase in income within just two years of adopting sustainable farming techniques. Gradually, Savita Devi has also integrated other sources of income such as livestock farming into her practices.

Sarita Kataria explains that she applied for the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA program. With the income from NREGA, she bought a cow and with the money from the sale of milk, her livelihood began to grow. Her husband sold milk in the market for INR 50 per liter, which gave them a daily income of INR 200. With this income, she bought a buffalo, which led to a further increase in income. Today, Sarita has four buffaloes, two bullocks, and a cow. They produce 30 liters of milk daily, which she sells for INR 50 per liter, resulting in a monthly income of INR 45,000. With this income, she finances the studies of her two children at a college in Jaipur. By introducing multi-purpose plantations, vegetable cultivation, and improved livestock farming, she has not only diversified her sources of income but also achieved sustainable agricultural development and a better livelihood for her family. She remains motivated to learn more and inspires other women in the village to develop further.

Today, Sarita Devi has multiple sources of income and is financially secure. Savita Devi has an annual income of around 350,000 rupees. She also recommends other women participate in Vaagdhara's programs to become self-reliant and change their lives.