MDI: Enhancing Household Incomes

MDI: Enhancing Household Incomes from Diversified Farming

Sushila Devi, a first-time farmer, ventures into farming using the MDI technology and is reaping rich dividends.

Sushila Devi (41) is a resident of Siyartoli village in Itki block of Ranchi, Jharkhand. She studied upto IXth std and was married in the year 1995 to Ram Kumar Sahu, who owns an oil processing unit. With the passage of time, Sushila became a mother to four children comprising 3 girls and a boy. Sushila was leading a life of a housewife when, in the year 2018, she came to know about Self Help Groups (SHGs) running under the fold of Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS). She became member of Ugta Kiran SHG in February 2018. Says Sushila, “One of the good things that happened to me after joining SHG is that I started saving, which I was not doing earlier.”

Jharkhand Horticulture Intensification by Micro Drip Irrigation Project (JHIMDI)

Siyartoli village was selected under JHIMDI project running under the tutelage of JSLPS and funded by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA). The project is targeting 30,000 farmer households across 9 districts of Jharkhand. The farmers to be supported under the project should be members of SHG formed by JSLPS and own or lease small farmlands. The project adopts a holistic approach wherein farmers are provided with MDI system, poly nursery house and vermicompost unit along with intensive training on horticulture and marketing. The project’s objective is to enhance household income with diversified farming and on-farm activities, capacity building of community on improved MDI technology and Package of Practices of crops for wider dissemination of technology. Jharkhand is a state which faces water crisis, and the MDI project is a boon for farmers in the state.

Some SHG members, including Sushila Devi, were selected for an exposure visit to Boriya village of Kanke block, to see the results of MDI farming. Looking at the results, Sushila became interested in adopting the MDI technology for farming.

The unique thing about Sushila was that she had never done farming before. This was the first time and she ventured into farming and that too by adopting modern techniques. She took a loan of Rs 10,000 from her SHG and invested Rs 5,000 from her own pocket to deposit in her Itki Siyartoli Village Organization to avail the services of MDI system, poly nursery house and vermicompost from JHIMDI project of JSLPS.

Work Implementation

Initially, Sushila sowed tomatoes and cucumbers together in her field of 25 decimal. Cost of production included infrastructure cost, labor cost, manure cost and mulching cost. Next, Sushila planted peas, this time the cost was incurred only on seeds, while the other things remained the same.

Cost Benefit Analysis

S.No. Vegetables Cost of Production Income earned Profit Profit %
1. Tomatoes and Cucumbers 21,604 41,114 19,510 90
2. Peas 10,422 43,978 33,556 322
3. Total 32,026 85,092 53,066 166
4. Total including contribution cost of Rs.15,000 47,026 85,092 38,066 81

 

In a span of two months, Sushila managed to earn Rs 41,114 from the cultivation of tomatoes and cucumbers through MDI; earning 90% profit. Next, the profit earned in three months through the cultivation of peas was Rs 33,556, triple the cost of production. Overall, in a span of 6 months, Susila managed to earn Rs 53,066 as profit (excluding the contribution cost of Rs 15,000 for MDI system).

Achievements

Sushila is very happy with her achievements. She has not only carved a name for herself but has also helped her son set up a tailoring business. Her son Akshay Kumar Sahu, after being trained under DDU-GKY programme of JSLPS, has commenced a stitching business in the village. He has set up a small factory with 8 sewing machines and 8 to 10 workers. He has taken a loan of Rs 21 lakh under Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP). Sushila is helping him in paying the EMIs.

Sushila said, “Earlier I was helpless. Now, I have something of my own and I can support my family as and when required. I will continue doing farming through MDI and now I will be cultivating pumpkins. The good thing about MDI is that it reduced the cost of production, as in one sowing we can harvest three to four different types of vegetables in a year.”

SVEP: Promoting entrepreneurship

Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Program (SVEP) is promoting rural enterprises by providing financial and enterprise management skills to the entrepreneurs and contributing to better developmental outcomes. Nilam Singh exemplifies how poor rural women can become successful business women.

Nilam Singh, 30, was married at the young age of 15 years in 2003. For 12 years after her marriage, Nilam never stepped out of her home for any kind of work. In the meantime, she became mother to four children. The family was poor and belonged to Tin Gharva village in Bengabad block of Giridih District. The only source of income for the family of 11 members was agricultural income which was negligible.

Nilam was a graduate and wanted to work. In 2015 she joined Nari Shakti Ajivika Swayam Sahayata Samuh where she learnt about various opportunities and freedom to work. She took the benefit of her qualification and started working as Bookkeeper in four neighboring SHGs of her village. When Maa Durga Village Organization was formed in her village she became the Master Bookkeeper and began maintaining registers of 11 SHGs. Presently, Nilam is a member of Maa Durga Village Organization.

In 2017, to support ecosystem for village enterprises, SVEP program was introduced in her block. Nilam qualified the exam and joined as Community Resource Person – Enterprise Promotion under SVEP program. Meanwhile, she came to know about the benefits of SVEP program like assured financial support, capacity building and advisory services for poor rural women like her. She took a loan of Rs 50,000 under SVEP project and started a cosmetics shop, Golden Shringar Store, in a 100 sq. ft space at her residence. With passage of time more challenges came her way but her strategies and ideas stood her in good stead in her new business. She took no time to understand that her prime profit comes from the sales during festival season. In the festive season of Durga Puja and Diwali she again took a loan of Rs 20,000 from her SHG and added festive items related to Durga Puja and Diwali Puja in her shop.

Today, Nilam is the only steady source of income for her family and is Rs 15000 to Rs 20000 from all the sources. She earns Rs 8000 per month from CRP-EP, Rs 7000-12000 from her shop and Rs 500 as Master Bookkeeper.

Nilam has enrolled her four kids in a private school and all the expenses are met from her own income. She now resides in a beautiful pucca house in the village.

Nilam is planning to scale up her business to add soft toys to her shop in future. With a twinkle in her eyes, she gives a clear message with conviction that one can lead a happy and decent life in a small deprived village too; the only condition is that we should never miss the opportunities and should stay strong in most adverse situations of life.

Story of a Story-teller

“Don’t judge a book by its cover”. This popular phrase succinctly explains the persona of Amita Devi. Short in appearance, extremely quiet and  bit shy, it’s quite difficult to figure out that she is a community journalist. Yes, you heard it right! This story is about a woman who herself is a storyteller. Amita is an established Samvaddata Sakhi who covers the success stories as well as stories of change from the villages.  

Amita, aged 32, is a resident of a small village named Gadhsidam in Rania block situated 70km away from Khunti district headquarters. She got married 12 years ago and is a proud mother of two children. Post-marriage, she led a life of struggle and hardships. Her husband, Harishchandra Bhuiyan was a marginalised farmer and worked as a daily wage labourer during the off seasons. She along with her husband could hardly manage the bread and butter for her family. However, despite poverty and multiple hardships, Amita continued her studies and completed B.A. from Kolebira, Simdega.  Then,  she completed her B.Ed. and started working in the local school where she was paid Rs. 2,500. She managed to contribute this amount in her family income for few years through it.

Under a special drive to spread the reach of NRLM to the remote and under-developed blocks of the state, JSLPS initiated the process of community mobilisation and SHG drive in Raniya block in 2015. Amita Devi joined the very first Sakhi Mandal named Jeevan Jyoti Mahila Samiti on 10th September, 2015. Rania was completely an underprivileged block then and the literacy rate was very poor. Thus, people feared and resisted themselves from getting associated with any such structure. Moreover, because of several societal barriers, women were not allowed to move out of the house or interact with strangers freely. In this situation, Amita acted as a catalyst and mobilised hundreds of women and convinced them to join Sakhi Mandals.

Amita, being the only educated woman in her village, was appointed the Book Keeper (BK) of her Sakhi Mandal and subsequently was handed over the responsibility of BK of Gadhsidam Aajeevika Mahila Gram Sangathan and VOA of Rania CLF in May, 2016 and April, 2017 respectively at the time of their formation. She handled these three responsibilities along with her teaching profession for couple of months but left her teaching job to focus on her BK job. She also lined-up her husband as i-CRP to move in various locations and form SHGs. His husband is now capable of earning Rs 21,150 per drive.

JSLPS took a new initiative of Community Journalist (CJ) in March, 2018 and Amita was selected as the CJ for her block. She had been given several trainings for this and was initially handed a Karbon Smart phone for story coverage and communication purpose. As a CJ, she had to cover stories and events within her block that were published in the fortnightly “PANCHAYATNAMA”. Panchayatnama covers the stories and events of the rural Jharkhand which has dedicated pages for grass-root stories written by the CJs. Her keen interest in writing and rigorous mapping of different villages in the block on her bicycle improved her journalistic skills with time. CJs are presently termed as Samvaddata Sakhi (SS) with same working periphery and responsibilities.

As CJ & SS, Amita has contributed her stories in a record 27 editions of Panchayatnama. With time she has nurtured her name as “emerging reporter” & “Patrakaar Didi”. Amita, after sending few stories, purchased another smart phone with better features in it and repaid the Sakhi Mandal loan from the remuneration. Recollecting her experiences, Amita says, “I am very grateful to JSLPS for transforming an ordinary women like me into a Patrakaar Didi. This profession has not only given me a lot of exposure but a new identity as well. Further, I am able to better take care of my family with the earnings of BK and Samvaddata Sakhi.”

Recently, Amita participated as Patrakaar Didi in Saras Aajeevika Mela organized at India Gate lawn, New Delhi between 8th to 24th October, 2019. She along with other 5 CJs covered various activities of the Mela and also contributed stories in the 16-page compiled report titled ‘Saras Aajeevika Samvaad’ that was launched in the closing ceremony by the MoRD officials.  They all were well appreciated and also awarded by MoRD for the same.

A powerful means to Quest Fulfillment

Community institutions: A powerful means to Quest Fulfillment

 Mani Kerketta was leading a good life. Yet, she had a burning desire to find herself that she did with courage and conviction.

In the market area of Tero village of Bero block, one can easily spot Mani didi’s tailoring shop. Mani Kerketta, who is in her early thirties, greets everyone with a bright smile when they come to her shop. She has proved that by sheer courage and determination, one’s life could be positively turned around. It was the perseverance and unshakable determination of Mani which has led her to where she is today.

Life was not hard for Mani and she had enough resources to sustain her family of 8 members. However, Mani constantly felt a deep void within. This feeling was the result of her lack of identity, self-reliance and self-respect and it increasingly got intensified.

She finally joined Aarti Mahila Samuh in 2015, however, the road to her empowerment was not easy. Despite Mani always being committed to her family, her desire to become self-dependent was incomprehensible to her conservative husband. She was stopped from going to Sakhi Mandal meetings or gatherings. But Mani was not willing to give up on her quest and gathered courage one fine morning to rebel against her family’s diktats. She stepped out of her household to attend a Sakhi Mandal meeting and since then there has been no looking back for her.

She became a regular at the Sakhi Mandal meetings and recognizing her active participation she was chosen as Active Woman after a formal training. Later, she was chosen as an ICRP. Her most notable achievement came after the commencement of JOHAR project, when she received training and started participating in drives to motivate rural women to form PGs.

Sharing her experience, Mani says, “Through such drives, we not only get economic support but also opportunities to meet our fellow sisters. It is also an opportunity for us to learn from each other and it fills us with a sense of togetherness.”

Mani didi gets Rs. 500 per day for such drives. Apart from this, she owns a tailoring shop which she got renovated after taking a loan from her Sakhi Mandal. She bought two sewing machines and her shop is contributing well to her overall income. As she is earning well and has become successful, her family’s attitude too has become positive towards her. Most importantly, her husband’s approach towards her has completely changed. Besides supporting her in the shop, he also takes care of their children whenever Mani goes for drives.

Mani Kerketta has finally found the identity she long wished for. She has become financially and socially empowered. Now, she is able to take care of her family and has the support of her family members, especially of her husband. In addition, she is helping other women of her village by providing them work in her tailoring shop and also encourage them to adopt viable livelihood sources.

In her words, “If NRLM had not been there in my life, I would never have been able to stand with such pride and dignity. I might have to depend on others for my everyday needs too. It really feels good when I take responsibility of the family’s needs. The recognition and respect that has come my way is overwhelming.”

Radhika Devi AVM since 2018

Radhika Devi is working as AVM since 2018 and has been guiding the women of her village regarding cultivation and production of Non- Timber Forest Products(NTFP), focusing on Lac & Moringa. She is also a member of Narayan Soso Aajeevika Utpaadak Samuh. She joined Laxmi Mahila Samuh in the year 2015. Her family, like the other families in her village, was cultivating Lac informally for a long time. But, the margin of profit generation was very low and almost negligible. This was so, because they had no knowledge of how to proper cultivate Lac for better productive yield.

 Radhika Devi got selected and received training of AVM and came to know about the scientific process of Lac and Moringa cultivation , the factors that promotes as well as inhibits the yield and the controlling methods of the inhibitory factors. She explained all about this to her PG Members as well and they started the cultivation accordingly. The transformation can be judged by the fact that earlier when they cultivated Lac & Moringa, the yield was cut short due to several diseases caught in the crop. But, now, due to new scientific farming and appropriate uses of organic fertilizers  not only protected the yield from diseases but increased the quality and quantity as well. This led to increase in the income of every member of PG by two-three times.

Radhika Devi says that, “ Earlier neither our farming was providing us profitable returns nor did us women had an identity that we own today. Our village is in the remotest part of our block and thus we majorly relied on forest produces for our survival as well as livelihood.  We have not only got opportunities to look out for livelihood resources within our territorial limits but today, we women have earned our own identity. I, working as an AVM, provide an additional support of 1200-1500 rupees monthly to my family. Apart from this, we are getting huge profitable returns from Lac & Moringa Cultivation without having to go to faraway places in search of livelihood.”

Savonnier, The Soap-Maker

How Somawari became Savonnier, the Soap-Maker

This is the inspiring story of a rural housewife and mother who learnt a new skill to chase her husband’s dream.

Somwari Kediyang, 35, was living her life as a wife and mother like many of her rural counterparts in Kayda village of West Sighbhum District in Jharkhand. It was 2012, when she joined Sarjuba Mahila Samuh and stated her journey of transformation. Even Somawari was not aware that one day she would become well-known by the name of a Savonnier (soap-maker) by the villagers.

Somwari became the treasurer of the Sarjuba Mahila Samuh (running under the fold of DAY-NRLM and Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society) upon joining in 2012 and took a small loan of Rs 3,500 from the Sakhi Mandal.

“As I was taking small loans and fulfilling daily needs, every time I attended the meeting I wondered is this the only purpose that we are united in a group? I did not want to continue like this, as I always wanted to have a sustainable source of livelihood,” said Somwari. She was the second wife of Bengra Kendiyang, 50, and due to huge age gap they rarely spoke to each other. However, one day her husband shared that he had learned soap-making in his young days but was unable to do something with it utilize it due to lack of financial resources.

On learning this, Somwari came up with the idea of setting up a small soap-making unit at her home and discussed it with the group members. She was looking for financial help and she was confident that she would get it. She took a loan of Rs 20,000 in September 2017 from her Sakhi Mandal.

She also learned the skill of soap-making from her husband so that she be a helping hand. Today the couple are earning around Rs 1,000 by selling their soaps and other products like washing and bathing soap in the weekly market and supplying to the shops in nearby villages. Somwari’s entrepreneurial streak is such that she is also selling the residue of soap as soap water that can be used as an alternative to regular detergent.

Now, Somwari is planning to scale up her business and also spread the skill among Sakhi Mandal members so that they can explore similar livelihood options. In December 2017 she took a loan of Rs 80,000 under SVEP (Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Program) to purchase an e-rickshaw for her stepson to add another  source of income to the family’s kitty.

The Banker Didi

Amrita Devi exemplifies the silent strength that women possess. Once she set her mind to it, Amrita Devi changed the course of her destiny.

Amrita Devi is a symbol of the silent revolution that is sweeping across the state of Jharkhand. From a housewife who did a little bit of agriculture for a living … to a go-getter who has been honoured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for her skills … it has been a journey of great success for the 23-year-old from Badajiayatu village of Ghaghara block in Gumla district.

Amrita is among the several women in the state who have benefitted from to the efforts of the government to bring about social transformation by fostering financial inclusion.

Financial inclusion is important to ensure overall economic development of a country. The growth of rural retail banking industry helps the cause by providing financial products and services to people in the farthest corners of the country.

A number of innovative initiatives have been taken from time to time to bridge the gap between the rural population and the formal retail banking system.

One such innovation is the concept of Business Correspondent Sakhi (BCS), run under the guidance and watch of the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS). Under the programme, an individual is trained to become the interface between the rural poor and the banks. The Banking didi, as she is called, is leveraged to provide support services under well-defined terms and conditions by way of contractual arrangements.

The Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society has adopted the BCS model for strengthening the financial stability of Sakhi Mandal members in rural Jharkhand. Sakhi Mandal members who are working as book-keepers are selected to be the BCS and are trained for the specialized role.

Once trained, she provides basic support services such as customer identification, collection of information/applications, credit appraisal, marketing, account opening, cash withdrawal, deposit, transfer, doing Aadhaar seeding, distributing pension to the elderly, people with disability, scholarships to school children, wage payment under MGNREGA, fund withdrawal under Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana and activates Rupay debit card.

Amrita Devi;s journey of transformation began in August 2016, when she became the member of Jai Sarna Sakhi Mandal. She took loan of Rs.8, 000 for meeting her household expenditure and also for investing in agricultural activities.

Sharing her experience, Amrita says, “The Sakhi Mandal gives me a sense of security. Now, I don’t have to look to others for assistance.  In case of any emergency, I know, my Sakhi Mandal is there for me.”

In March 2017, Amrita was selected to work as a BCS. JSLPS imparted her training, both at the state as well as at the block level. Amrita commenced rendering BCS services to her community people and others who lived in nearby villages. As there was only one bank in her locality, the Jharkhand Gramin Bank, the banking needs of many people remained unfulfilled. This gap was filled by Amrita. Simultaneously, Amrita was also doing the transactions of the Sakhi Mandals.

Gradually, Amrita established herself as a BCS and on an average she did monthly transactions worth Rs 19 to Rs 20 lakh. With the commission earned on every transaction and the honorarium received from the JSLPS, Amrita managed to earn every month anywhere between Rs 14,000 to Rs 15,000.

As time progressed, Amrita decided to branch out and increase her work area. With the support of her husband, she opened a shop in the main market of Ghaghara. The shop provided photocopy and photography services. She charged Rs 2 for photocopying a page, and with an average of 200 to 250 photocopies every day, the couple could manage to earn around Rs. 20,000 to Rs 25,000 per month.

Managing between her household responsibilities and her work was not easy, but Amrita was determined to do justice to both. Her involvement in the work was almost 24X7, but her services in lieu of financial charges started from 10 in the morning and ended at 7pm. Amrits’s day started early at 3 in the morning to ensure that her home did not suffer because of her work. There were times when she would take her two-year-old son with her on work.

“My child is my responsibility and I cannot afford to leave him on anybody else,” she says. However, despite all the hardships Amrita is a happy person today. Sharing her feelings she says, “the love that, I received from the community is a matter of honor for me. If someday, I go to somewhere, then people in my locality wait for me and also start searching for me, for getting their work done. I want to move ahead, serve my people and also earn well for the secure future of my son.”

Usha Kumari, who came to Amrita for withdrawing money said, “Here work gets easily done in less amount of time and also, I am not afraid to come here, as here is minimal paper work.”

Minaxi Kumari, who is a student, shared that she has never went to a bank because bank in the form of Amrita had come to her. Minaxi opened her saving bank account with Amrita and also got her passbook form her.

Urmila Devi, another customer of Amrita shared, “I was frightened to go to banks and even in the cases of emergency, I did not have the courage to go there. This problem has been resolved now, as at any time, I can come to Amrita for banking related services.”

Today, Amrita has made a mark for herself as Banker didi. This is just a beginning for her, as, many more achievements are awaiting her.

A Desire to Make Her Own Identity

Tamanna” a desire to make her own identity, a desire to run her own business. A mobile shop named “New Mobile Zone Tammana” which was a desire of Priyanka Laguri before 2013 becomes the reality when she joined Sakhi Mandal in 2013.

23-year-old Priyanka Laguri is a resident of Balandiya village of Hatgamahria block of West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. She is the president of “Naar Swayam Sahayta Samooh” (Woman Self Help Group) run under the tutelage of Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion society.

Before becoming a part of Sakhi Mandal Priyanka Laguri was totally dependent on her parents for her family expenditures. She used to get only 500 rupees per month out of which she managed to save some amount for her husband. In a hope of creating a source of income, she sent her husband to Jamshedpur for a 3 months course of mobile repairing.

After 3 months her husband was placed in a Nokia care center at Jamshedpur on a monthly salary of 3,500 rupees. The amount was not enough to feed a family of 5 members including taking care of a disabled sister after staying far away from home.“We were very depressed that even after learning a skill the amount was not enough to feed our family. Whenever my husband come to home the villagers used to come to our home for mobile repairing. Then we decided to open a mobile shop in our village but the main obstacle was money. At that crucial period of time we get the financial support from Sakhi Mandal” says Priyanka.

She took a loan of 49,000 rupees from Sakhi Mandal for setting up the mobile shop in November 2013.  Today it has been almost 3 years, she along with her husband successfully running her mobile shop in her village Balandiya and earning 10,000-11,000 rupees per month.  Her husband takes care of the mobile repairing and she looks after the other work of the shop like mobile recharge, movie, and song downloading, taking print out etc. “Now we don’t have to go to main Hatgamahria market for mobile recharge and repairing and even for getting clicked a passport size picture for official purpose. We get all these services in our village” says a customer.  Priyanka Laguri also clicks passport size picture from the android phone and give it to the customer after taking print which coasts them 30 rupees for 4 copies. She also most of the accessories of the mobile phone in her shop like charger, cover, card reader, USB etc.

When she was asked about the journey till now she revealed a dark phase of her journey and said “In the year 2016 we both fell ill and handed over our shop to a person after trusting him that he will give us the earning after taking his share. But he neither gave us the money nor refills our shop with the products. That was the time we lose our hope because to restart our shop we again needed financial support and again Sakhi Mandal trusted me and gave me a loan of 25,000 to restart my shop”. She has repaid the amount of 70,000 rupees along with the interest. Now She is unfazed by any ups and downs because she knows that the Sakhi Mandal is with her in her bad as well as good times.

Serial Entrepreneur

Jayanti Devi’s has proved that entrepreneurship is not the sole preserve of the educated and wealthy. It is a natural instinct for some like her.

Name- Jayanti Devi

Bengabad block, Giridih Dist.

Small loan- 14 times

Big loan- 4 times

Enterprises & income :

1.      General Store- 10-12 thousand p.m

2.      Cosmetic centre- 2-3 thousand p.m

3.      DJ Sound equipments- 60-70K p.a

4.      Bricks factory- more than 1 lakh

So far so good…

Jayanti Devi of Bengabad block of Giridih district in Jharkhand is today a symbol of success. She is a role model for many others who want to make it big in life despite all odds.

From a homemaker who could barely make ends meet, Jayanti is today an entrepreneur with four successfully running ventures. Yes, you got it right. She runs not one, not two but four ventures.

And all this has been possible because of the valuable help provided to her by the Sakhi Mandal. The association with Sakhi Mandal transformed her life. The association gave her a new identity and immense confidence. And then began a journey to empower herself and her family in the process.

Her first venture was a general store, for which she took a loan of Rs 15,000. This store became the source of her livelihood. Jayanti fondly remembers the first income she earned from the store. Later, she took another loan of Rs 10,000 to expand the store and today she earns Rs 10 to 12,000 per month from it.

Instead of sitting over the laurels of her first successful venture, Jayanti was soon thinking about the next business that she could start. This time she took a loan of Rs 1 lakh and bought DJ sound equipment to give it out on rent. Thus, without any extra effort and waste of time, she is now adding Rs 70 to 80,000 annually to her income. With time, her business has become established and now she receives bookings for marriage parties and other big events.

Jayanti, who was by now earning quite well, realised that there was a good demand for cosmetic items in the area and there were not many shops. This assessment gave birth to her third venture, a small cosmetic shop. This added Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 monthly to her income.

What was more, Jayanti was now providing employment opportunities to other needy members of the Sakhi Mandal.

With three successfully running ventures, one would have thought Jayanti would be happy and satisfied. But that was not the case. Having transformed her life, she indeed was happy. However, the urge to do something more was still very strong.

And this paved the way for her fourth venture, which was a factory to make bricks.

Jayanti observed that there was a very high demand for bricks in the area. After getting the necessary information about brick making and the favourable season for it, she thought of setting up a factory and engaging needy women of Sakhi Mandal on daily wages.

To implement her idea, she initially demanded a loan of Rs 20,000 from her SHG. Her idea of setting up a brick factory was appreciated by other members of the Sakhi Mandal and hence her loan was immediately approved. Today, she engages 3 women along with their husbands in making of bricks on daily wages. They got a total order of 3 lakh bricks from different government schemes like – Indira Awas, Goat Shed, toilet construction under Swachch Bharat Mission. However, because of rain and other natural barriers they could manage to make and supply only around 2 lakh 20 thousand bricks with a profit of more than Rs 1 lakh.

These ventures have made a big difference to the life of Jayanti. Today, she sustains her family, and provides them emotional and financial support. Before joining the Sakhi Mandal, she spent her time doing household work. Sakhi Mandal gave her the opportunity to step outside and explore the world around her. Her children are getting education in an English medium school. She is happy at the thought that their future would be bright with good education. She has purchased a bike for her husband, constructed her house and among her future plans is to buy a Bolero pickup for better service of DJ Sound equipment rental business.

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Journey of A House Maker to An Entrepreneur

Jaanki Purti, a 26-year-old resident of Kendulota village of Khuntpani Block of West Singhbhum is an owner of her own Beauty Parlor “Aleesha” in Pandraasaali Bazar. She is the only bread earner of the family who is looking after 4 members including her in-laws, husband and a seven-year-old daughter.

Today’s scenario of her life is totally different from the scenario in early 2010. She was a house maker used to manage the household chores and her husband was involved in the agriculture activities that were sufficient only for their survival. Apart from that She hardly gets 100 rupees for monthly expenditure from her father-in-law. Her life took a new turn when she joined “Nootan Uprum Mahila Samiti” Sakhi Mandal in 2013.

“Before 2013 I was already in a Self Help Group run by JTDS (Jharkhand Tribal Development Society) but I never felt that push to do something on my own because our group saving was not enough to help us to start our own business. When our group comes under the fold of NRLM and Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society I felt a major difference. It taught me how to took the first step like a mother” Says Jaanki.

She took her first step towards her Aleesha Beauty parlor by enrolling her self in a course of beautician and stitching by taking a loan of rupees 6,000 form Sakhi Mandal. During the course, she used to give services to the villagers so that she can return her loan timely and will be eligible to apply for the new loan. After completing her course initially she took a loan of rupees 30,000 for her dream “Aleesha beauty parlor” from the CIF (Community Investment Fund) of Sakhi Mandal. Now she is earning 7,000-8,000 per month from her venture.

Jaanki is a very Strong woman; she is working even in her 7th month of pregnancy because she doesn’t want to lose her customers. To attract more customers she tries to provide more and more facilities to them as along with the beauty parlor she also stitches cloths and sells cosmetic products at her shop. “Earlier we all have to go to Chaibasa for availing these services which cost us very expensive because it also includes the to and fro transportation charges,” says Manmati one of the regular customer of Aleesha Beauty Parlor.

Once a house maker today is an owner of her own venture. Till now she has taken a total amount of 50,000 for her dream and returned the principal amount with interest timely. When she was asked about the future plans she said “I want to expend my shop, want to give it a new look. I also want to go for an expert beautician course so that I can also be able to ready new brides for their big day.”

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