Your support which is used for this project helping vulnerable widows and deserted women, gave Jayashree an opportunity to think differently. Egged on and encouraged by other women of the village, she has sought a loan of Rs.25,000 ($406) and with some struggle, has put up a machine to make vermicelli. This is a produce processed from wheat and widely liked and used by the villagers in their meals. The traditional process of making vermicelli is manual and very tedious for rural women. Using this machine saves their time.
From being a widow struggling to make ends meet, 31 year old Jayashree is on her way to become a successful entrepreneur.
Thrown out her house within 3 years of her husband’s death, life seemed a black hole for Jayashree Kathane.
Although, she had about 1.5 hectares of agricultural land which was on her husband’s name, there was no roof above her head, worth the name.
With a 5 year old daughter and a 7 year old son in tow, she erected a dilapidated structure near her in-laws house, and weathered harsh heat and battering rains for many months.
For 1 year, she fought with her in-laws for some space to build a proper structure for herself and her children. At last they gave her some space near their house. She mortgaged little jewellery that she had, got help from her own father and built a house which could give her small family some security.
A safe abode secured, she started farming her land and sending her children to school. Her son named Akash (meaning - the sky) and her daughter named Dharati (meaning - the earth) helped her in farming their dryland.
Since there was no ready capital, she usually secured a loan of Rs.50,000 ($ 812) and Rs. 10,000 ($ 163) from her SHG with Chetana-Vikas and used it to till her dry land, sow the fields and harvest the crops with help of outside labour. But, with no remunerative price to agriculture produce, the meager profit was used to repay the loans and her family continued to live on subsistence. And thus their life continued for the next 9-10 years.
Despite some machine service problems and lack of experience, she could save about Rs.12,000 ($ 195 ) out of this small business, in the very first year. She still has to repay the amount to the Women Federation, but is looking forward to starting her processing again this year.
Jayashree’s in laws are still not co-operative with her, but she is happy about the increased prospects of providing a decent higher education to her children which this business will now enable her to.
As you might have noted by now, this our combined endeavor alongwith you aims to bring out the best in women, by way of skills, entrepreneurship, personality development. They in turn help other women to come out of their shells who are still struggling about their rights and also livelihood security.
They are shunned, exploited and not treated fairly because of their social position of being a widow or deserted women ……..
Keep on remembering this link to help young women like Jayashree, who want to build new lives afresh.
A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU !
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http://www.chetanavikas.org (presently under reconstruction, but accessible)