A Strong willpower always shows the way
This is a story of a hill women, who had faced lot of difficulties due to abject poverty as she was married to young man who used run a small photography shop at Kedarnath that was damaged during 2013 disaster and business came to halt. The situation aggravated since there was no regular income coming home, which led frequent quarrel between husband and wife.
Mrs. Prabha, a resident of village Dhar Tondla village of Rudraprayag married at a tender age of 18 to Saroop Sing of village of. As noted above that there was a single source of income i.e. a small photo studio however the income wasn’t sufficient meet out the requirement of a family having 4-5 members. Expenditure were more than the income and every day there is struggle for Prabha to run the family. Financial needs of the family in mountain region always pose challenges as there are hardly any opportunities for income generation. She was always worried about her son’s future but she could not bear the hardship and came back to her parental home and started looking for employment as her parents are not well off financially.
She heardabout silk development program and approached AT India. She was suggested to take up silk spinning yarn activity and assured training / skill development and market support. She hesitantly took up activity but wasn’t fully satisfied. She started interacting with other stakeholders and realized that silk weaving could be one of the best activities for her. She requested to be included in weaving programs and started attending trainings. She was told that she will not receive money during training however she was determined to learn handloom weaving. She continued to spin silk yarn even during the weaving training and earned the money from silk yarn spinning. Since she is educated so she learnt all technical aspects of weaving and started earning Rs. 2000 per month during initial training phase. She received all skill development trainings organized by AT India and DevBhumi Producers Companywhich has enhanced herskills in weaving different designs, and products. She is now a professional weaver in Ukhimath centre, spends 6 hours per day and earns Rs.5000 to Rs. 6000 per month. Prabha Devi is thankful to AT India for launching Sericulture project for benefiting many women like her. Prabha says that she is not dependent on anybody and takes care of her son’s all expenses. She says that will power is required to find the way in life and I found the way formy living.
With the proper trainings and guidance Prabha has been able to become self-reliant. The relentless efforts on her part to learn the weaving skills has made her a role model for many other vulnerable women in this region.
A journey towards success…..
Sources of livelihood are limited in Garhwal Himalayan region. People here do various activities to meet out the life basic needs. Women in the region always look for gainful employment as the agriculture is labour intensive and non-rewarding due to various reasons such as small and scattered land holdings and lack of effective extension services that can enhance the production. This is the story of one of the women who struggled to meet out the basic necessities of the family.
Sangeeta born in a hill village Devar and married at an early age to Kushal, a resident of Uchhola village who was a daily wage labour. The husbands for earning income occasionally migrate to city but unable to secure a permanent job. Thus the only income that comes home comes from rendering labour. Sangeeta has the responsibility of nurturing the grown up children who attend the schools now. The family expenses are growing month by month however the income is declining correspondingly for a family of 6 members who were fully dependent on her husband’s income. Sangeeta Devi is the active member of a Self Help Group (SHG) formed by AT India in Uchhola village. Sangeeta used to attend SHG meetings regularly and keen to start income generation activities but due to insufficient fund in her SHG such activity could not be started.
In beginning of Financial Year 2016-17 AT India starts interventions in Uchhola village under the project supported by A T India. Sangeeta showed interested in organic honey production as she was little aware about the bee keeping and honey production. Field Facilitator of AT India motivated Sangeeta to form a honey producer group for collective honey production. Her group received all necessary inputs, including trainings and bee colonies, swarm bags, bee veil etc. to carry out honey production. Sangeeta is involved in honey production since April 2016 she has 8 bee colonies and harvested honey in two seasons. Her production of honey is recorded 32 Kg and 28 Kg with an income of Rs. 9600 and Rs. 8400 by sale of honeyrespectively. She is quite happy with the income she got and motivated to increase honey production in near terms. According to Sangeeta “On one hand organic honey production contributes in household income significantly on the other hand it reduces our drudgery in agriculture. My husband also support me in my honey business and we have plan to upscale our business as we are on the journey of success together”.
Organic Honey production has become a recognized livelihood option for many households due to less investment, less labour and assured market that DevBhumi Producers Company provides to the women like Sangeeta.