Village home-makers turn into entrepreneurs

Jamshedpur: Good implementation of good projects can bring about substantial change in the quality of lives of rural population. This has been borne out by several examples in which Yuva has been able to bring about positive change at the ground level.

One apt example of significant change in the quality of life of rural people has been the project executed in Chakri village, Potka, East Singhbhum, Jharkhand. Direct beneficiaries are Hemanti Sardar of Chakdi village and Saarthi Murmu of Kopey village.

The lead partner of this project is Society of Rural industrialization (SRI) and the donor agency  is TERI. The role of field partner has been discharged by Yuva.

We reproduce here a report on this project as published on TERI website:

For Hemanti Sardar, there was life before she became the entrepreneur of Chakri village, and there is life after.

Hemanti Sardar in Chakri village

'Pahle ki Hemanti to bahut kam bolti thi aur ghar se nikalti hi nahi thi..ab ki Hemanti ki baat aur hai' (Earlier, Hemanti would hardly talk or leave the confines of the house..it's a different matter altogether for her now).
Hemanti, a home-maker who had never undertaken an income-generating activity on her own, is proud of earnings she can call her very own after having turned an entrepreneur. Apart from the revenue from the solar lamp renting, Hemanti now also has access to money she can borrow from the Self-Help Group (SHG) at her village, when in need.

'Gaon mein hamara liye jo logo mein izzat thi wo to badhi hi hai, lekin jo baki auratein hain (users), unka bhi samman badha hai..ab ghar mein andhere mein kaam jo nahi karti aur bahar jake bahut kuch seekhne-samajhne bhi lagi hain.' (The respect people have for me in our village has definitely gone up, but that of the other women (users) has gone up too..because they aren't operating kitchens in the dark and because they're venturing out and are both more skilled and more aware now).

'Sach bolun to pahle to maine ghar se nikalne se aur entrepreneur banane se mana kar diya tha..lekin YUVA ke sadasyon ne bahut samjhaya baar-baar ki ye apke liye bahut accha rahega.' (Truth be told - I refused to leave the house and sign up to be the entrepreneur..but YUVA’s officials persistently explained how this would benefit me immensely.)

Hemanti was chosen to be the entrepreneur by the villagers because she learned to read and write at a basic level, among other reasons. But with help from YUVA, she's gone significantly beyond her book-learning and learned to perform real-world calculations her charging station needs, plus a thing or two about running a successful enterprise.

The village of Chakri generates almost all its income from running poultry farms or from farming. Both activities have benefited greatly from light that can shine at night. According to Hemanti, chores like feeding the chickens or cleaning their cages have turned from being painful to being almost enjoyable. The lamps have also kept snakes and insects out of the fields and homes, leaving villagers less fearful.

Chakri mein school bhi hai aur bacche ab khush ho kar padh rahe hain aur sochte hain ki unki aage ke sapne bhi shayad kamyaab ho jaen,' says Hemanti. (Chakri also has its own school and the children are studying with the hope of realizing their dreams).

While technology has sown the first seeds of hope in Chakri, the blossom should take the village even farther.

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