From Churiwali to the owner of a popular shoe store, Sheetal has come far
Living in a remote village of Jharkhand, not many would dare to dream of starting one’s own enterprise and earn big sums from it. But 32-year-old Sheetal Jarika, a resident of Kendulota village (Matkobeda) of Khuntpani block in West Singhbhum district, was different. She was determined to translate her dreams into reality.
From being a small-time “Churiwali” who would barely earn Rs 1000 to Rs 2000, today Sheetal is the proud owner of two shops, including the famous “Jarika Shoe”, and earns Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 from her enterprise.
Sheetal, like many other women in Jharkhand, found a helping hand in the Sakhi Mandal, formed under DAY-NRLM and run with the assistance of the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society.
Sheetal joined the Sakhi Mandal in 2013. It was the beginning of an association that would eventually change her life.
Unhappy with the sobriquet of “Churiwali”, Sheetal decided to expand her business and establish a new identity for herself. She took a loan of Rs 20,000 from the Sakhi Mandal and turned her small shop of bangles into a big one of cosmetics at a monthly rent of Rs 700.
Initially, her husband did not support her. But as her earning started increasing he realized his mistake and started taking interest in her business.
After running the cosmetic shop with great success for six months, Sheetal thought of opening a shoe shop adjacent to her existing one. But for this venture, she needed at least Rs 50,000 as investment, which was a huge amount.
Since she had already a loan of Rs 20,000 from the Sakhi Mandal, Sheetal decided to approach a bank for her new loan. But the moment they went to the bank, they realized the worth of the Sakhi Mandal. Not only was the rate of interest at bank very high, they also asked for so many papers and formalities that the couple decided to drop the idea of a bank loan.
Just when her hopes were fading, the Village Organization (VO) of her village extended a helping hand to her. After returning the amount of her previous loan, Sheetal took the loan of Rs 50,000 from the VO and once again started a new journey to accomplish her dream and opened her new shop “Jarika Shoe”.
“Jarika shoe” is today a popular shoe shop in Pandraasali Chowk market of Matkobeda cluster. Anyone can find their favorite pair here starting from minimum Rs 80 to the best ones priced at Rs 800.
Sheetal Jarika is now the president of “Singba Mahila Samooh” Sakhi Mandal. It has been almost three years and she has been successfully running both the shops along with her husband in Pandraasali market of Matkobeda cluster. Her monthly income out of the venture is Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000. Her earnings spike to around Rs 45,000 during the “Mange Parv”, a local festival.
Sheetal has till now taken a loan of Rs 4 lakh from the Sakhi Mandal and the VO. Of this, she has returned Rs 3 lakh 84 thousand on time. Her cosmetic shop not just takes care of the beauty needs of the ladies, but also helps them with health and hygiene. It is the only shop in the area from where women can easily buy sanitary pads.
Going forward, Sheetal wants to shift her shops into her own building in the same market. She wants to open a shopping complex and build a training center for the Sakhi Mandal on the first floor of the building.
Given her grit and determination, one is sure that one day she would translate even these dreams into reality.