From earning a mere Rs 145 on the first day, Poonam Devi and her friends have now come a long way. In two years, their daily income is nowhere below Rs 10,000-15,000 a day.
Owner of Didi Café in the Jagganathpur area, Poonam of Kutte village in Nagri block of Ranchi, is now a successful tribal entrepreneur.
She credits her success to the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS), an autonomous unit under the state rural development department.
She says, “JSLPS helped us take a loan of Rs 1.5 lakh through our self-help group in the village. Using that loan, we set up a dhaba (café) on the roadside.”
The first day did not go as she had hoped for, which worried her about the business taking off.
Guess the lottery result, make lottery posters for free Lottery Box -India’s most professional lottery interactive community.
Poonam is one of the lakhs of women in Jharkhand who have been linked with livelihood opportunities by JSLPS.
The society has been working towards providing livelihood to poor and downtrodden women from rural areas since the last trimester of 2016. And in two years, it has managed to link over ten lakh women.
Kumar Vikas, Programme Manager, JSLPS, notes, “We are trying to make the socially excluded and financially backward women understand their capabilities and make them self-dependent.”
The women are given support according to their needs and the market viability in their villages or panchayats. They are also trained in taking care of livestock in areas where rearing of goats and sheep is common. Similarly, women who come from agricultural backgrounds are trained in farming, provided with equipment and informed about the latest farming technologies.
Vikas says, “In Jharkhand, the farming sector is mostly dependent on rain water, as a result of which, farmers cannot grow more than one crop in a year. We teach the women about drip irrigation so that they can reap crops at least twice a year and earn a better living.”
A major reason behind selecting occupations district-wise is to ensure that the women get maximum profit from the business. For instance, if a village has many grocery shops but not a single food stall, the woman entrepreneur will be suggested to put up a food stall for better income.
Similarly, if the climate and plantation are more suitable for rearing of silkworms, the women in that district will be promoted to get into the business as it will give them huge returns.
Accordingly, the women in West Singhbhoom are encouraged to rear silkworms and make tussar, while their counterparts in Palamu are pushed towards lac cultivation.
The only source of income for her family was farming, but as they had a small plot of land, it didn’t contribute much to their income.