By starting a flour mill after availing a loan from a bank, the neo-literate women of ‘Keerthi’ Women Self Help Group (SHG) under Ichilampady Grama Vikasa Kendra in Kaukradi gram panchayat have scripted a success story in self-employment.
The self-help groups in the country have been providing jobs to unemployed rural folks. Organised efforts are being made to empower them economically through livelihood activities. The women SHG members have shown appetite and vision by taking up a new venture.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Flour Mill In-charge and Motivator of Madari Gram Vikasa Kendra Sooji said “The villagers of Ichilampady, in order to grind rice, wheat, ragi and other items, had to travel to a flour mill in Nelyadi, around 10 km away. To get a few kg of flour, they had to spend Rs 30 on travelling. In this background, we women decided to start a flour mill.”
Under the guidance of Jana Shikshana Trust and with the help of the Madari Grama Vikasa Kendra, four neo-literate women availed a loan of Rs three lakh from a bank to start their dream project —‘Nayana Flour Mill.’
“The flour mill has been doing good business since its opening last month. We prepare flour of rice, ragi, wheat, chilly, coriander seeds, turmeric and also prepare fodder for the cattle,” she said.
“The flour mill functions from 8.30 am to 5 pm. Apart from this, the women members also prepare banana chips, jackfruit happala (papad), detergent powder and liquid soap on the premises of the flour mill. On an average we are earning an income of Rs 1,000 per day,” she added.
“As the flour mill functions from a rented building, we have to pay a rent of Rs 3,000. The loan amount of Rs 3,000 is also paid to the bank. Apart from this, honorariums are paid to those who work in the flour mill. About six persons work in the flour mill,” said Sooji.
She said “From 2001, the neo-literates are active through the SHGs in the village. There are seven SHGs under Madari Grama Vikasa Kendra of Ichilampady. The SHGs have saved a sum of Rs five lakh. Under Pradhan Swarojgar Yojane, a subsidy amount of Rs 5.45 lakh is availed by these SHGs.
“The SHG members have availed loans for dairy farming, rearing of goats, agriculture, educating their children and so on. Apart from this, the members are also into jasmine cultivation.
“As we wanted to provide employment to other poor women, we decided to start a flour mill in our village,” she added. Zilla Panchayat member Balakrishna Banajalu has also supported us in our venture.
Jana Shikshana Trust Director Sheena Shetty said “the women neo-literates have availed the loan and are moving towards self-reliance. These women are models and inspiring others to follow suit in self employment.”