At 18 years old, Beema Ram takes great pleasure from the peace and solitude that his life as a goat herder brings, but realises what he’s missed out on. A goat herder by day, Beema Ram transforms into a honey collector by night. As a honey collector he works in a team of five, who identify the hives and go at night to climb the trees and harvest the honey. Besides the enjoyment of being a part of his five-man honey-collecting team, Beema Ram can now help support his family. Change Alliance partner Smarthak Samiti (SS) provides forest honey producers with protective clothing, as well as identity cards which help protect the team from harassment by forest officials. SS also helps them organise into a collective to package, market and receive a fairer, well-earned price for their honey.
While his younger siblings are at school, it’s Beema Ram’s job to herd the family’s goats. A new government school has opened up nearby in recent years, but when Beema Ram was growing up there was no school.